0
Votes

Be Dazzled

The now and the future of dance comes to Mason.

Bronwyn Updike, B.F.A. Dance Major

Bronwyn Updike, B.F.A. Dance Major Photo by Tim Coburn

Where and When

The Joffrey Ballet appears at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. "American Legends" on Friday, March 7, at 8 p.m. and "Body & Soul" on Saturday, March 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets: are $25-$50 for performance. Youth Discount: tickets are half price for youth through grade 12. Call 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.

American College Dance Festival Association Panel: "Imagine... a Life in Dance" at Mason University's Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Event is Sunday, March 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets: $5-$10. Call 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.

Panelists:

Robert Battle: Artistic Director, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Elisa Monte, Artistic Director, Elisa Monte Dance; Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet; Kyle Abraham: 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Artistic Director of Abraham.In.Motion; Deborah Jowitt, One of America’s foremost dance historians, writers, and scholars; Elizabeth Parkinson, Star Broadway's "Movin' Out."

American College Dance Festival Gala at George Mason University's Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Event is Tuesday, March 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets: $5-$10. Call 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. General information: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/default.aspx?EventID=1259417

The dancers are coming! The dancers are coming!

The Winter Olympics isn't the only venue to see agility, power, speed, strength and beauty. And you won't need to know the difference between a double Lutz and a triple axel. Soon Fairfax County will be welcoming five hundred of another type of athletes: 500 dancers from dozens of colleges and universities showcasing and competing with dreams of appearing at the Kennedy Center this May. It is the American College Dance Festival with a grand opening by the famed Joffrey Ballet.

"We are very excited to be hosting this year’s mid-Atlantic festival and opening our beautiful facilities to our talented guests," said Susan Shields, professor, Mason School of Dance. "At Mason, the arts are highly valued throughout the campus and the curriculum."

The Festival includes a panel discussion leaders in the professional dance world. The adjudicated dance competitions will culminate in a Grand Gala Concert performed at the Center for the Arts. This will be a full night and a golden opportunity for the public to be awed. Two dances from the Gala will be selected for presentation at the National College Dance Festival to be held this spring at the Kennedy Center.

The Joffrey Ballet will perform two different programs over two nights. On Friday evening, March 7, the program is "American Legends" an evening of contemporary works that includes Jerome Robbins’ "Interplay," Twyla Tharp’s "Nine Sinatra Songs" and Stanton Welch’s "Son of Chamber Symphony." On Saturday evening, March 8, the program is titled "Body & Soul." It features Yuri Possokhov’s "Bells," set to piano compositions by Rachmaninoff, Brock Clawson’s new "Crossing Ashland" and Alexander Ekman’s surreal "Episode 31."

Dance festival participants will be dancing from sunup to past sundown. They will take classes in every dance form imaginable all across the Mason campus. For the dance competition, Mason will be represented by senior dance majors Celine Berthaud and Candace Perry.

"Mason is a dance hub," said Shields. "This year's festival confirms Mason as a cultural leader."