Gala Concert Dance “Displaced” to Be Performed at Kennedy Center

Posted: April 8, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

The dance duet “Displaced,” choreographed by assistant dance professor Susan Shields, will be seen on stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this June.

The duet was chosen as one of the pieces to be performed at the National American College Dance Festival, June 1-3. A Mason piece hasn’t been chosen for the festival since 1994, when “Barred,” a solo written, choreographed, and performed by former student and professor Joan-Renee Nicholas, was picked.

“Displaced” was performed during the Mid-Atlantic Regional American College Dance Festival held at Mason last month and was chosen by adjudicators Danny Buraczeski, Gerri Houlihan, and Donald McKayle to be performed in both the culminating Regional Gala Concert and the National American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center.

George Mason faculty, staff, and students can see “Displaced” on campus tomorrow and Saturday during the George Mason Dance Company 2004 Gala Concert in the Center for the Arts. Undergraduate dance students Heidi Kershaw and Daniel Puneky will perform the piece.

The concert will also feature “A Lake” by Mark Morris and “Democracy” by Doug Varone, two distinguished American choreographers. “A Lake” is danced to Haydn’s Horn Concerto No. 2, which will be performed by the George Mason University Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Maiello. In a recent letter to Friends of Dance, Morris said that he rarely lets others perform “A Lake,” but because he holds George Mason’s dance program “in high regard,” he will allow the dance to be performed in Mason’s gala concert.

Varone describes “Democracy” as “tremendously challenging. It deals with a dramatic energy that is not literal and asks the dancer to create character through energy.” He says that the work, for 15 strong performers, is “relentless” and “demands a strong sense of focus.”

Other pieces include “Cocteau Variations,” a quartet created by Boris Willis, instructor in the Dance Department, and “Winter’s Edge,” by Dance Department Chair Buffy Price.

“Winter’s Edge” will be performed by five freshmen dance majors making their debuts on the Concert Hall stage. “This is evidence of the talented young performers at George Mason preparing for careers in dance,” says Marjorie Summerall, program coordinator of the dance programs.

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