Metro Weekly

Mason Dance Company Gala at GMU Center for the Arts

Students of GMU's nationally acclaimed School of Dance will perform a quartet works choreographed by four of the biggest names in the field.

2023 Mason Dance Gala Concerts and Fête
2023 Mason Dance Gala Concerts and Fête

Students of George Mason University’s nationally acclaimed School of Dance will perform a quartet of thrilling and technically demanding works, choreographed by four of the biggest names in the field of dance.

The distinguished international lineup includes:

  • Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • Rafael Bonachela, a Barcelona native who started as a dancer and associate choreographer for London’s legendary Rambert Dance Company and is now in his 15th year as artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company
  • Doug Varone, recipient of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Dance Guild and highly regarded choreographer for work with his eponymous New York-based company
  • Manuel Vignoulle, a native of France and alum of the esteemed Paris Conservatory and principal behind M/motions, a project-based company in New York.

“We are so proud of our talented young artists, who are embracing the opportunity to perform works by some of the most influential choreographers of our time,” says Karen Reedy, director of the Mason School of Dance. Reedy goes on to give compellingly pithy descriptions of each of the four works in the “diverse and riveting” program.

“Robert Battle’s Awakening is a driving, primal, and rhythmic work for 12 dancers set to a score by composer John Mackey. Double Octet by Doug Varone takes audiences on a kinesthetic journey of sweeping and swirling motion [and features 17 Mason dance students].

“Manuel Vignoulle’s Black and White is a very personal duet inspired by the differences two individuals bring to a relationship, including gender, culture, background, and energy. And Rafael Bonachela’s Variation 10 is a musically sensitive work, rich in nuance and intricate movement vocabulary.”

Prior to the performance on Saturday, March 25, and starting at 5:30 p.m., is the Mason Dance Fête, an intimate opportunity for patrons to see students rehearsing sections and also to gain insights about the works and the choreographers, culminating in a reception with wine, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert.

All net proceeds from the Fête benefit the School of Dance scholarship fund.

Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25, at 8 p.m. GMU Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Dr., Fairfax.

Tickets are $15 to $28, or $125 for Fête tickets. Visit or call 888-945-2468.

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