Dance Gala Concert
Join us for our crowning season event, the Mason Dance Company Gala Concert
Each Spring, Mason dancers perform works by renowned choreographers in the Concert Hall in the Dance Gala Concert. This extraordinary evening features a dynamic performance of technically demanding and intensely driven work by talented students as they embark upon their promising dance careers.
This year our guest choreographers were the Spanish modern ballet dancer and choreographer, and currently artistic director of the Berlin State Ballet, Nacho Duato (Na Floresta); Greek choreographer Andonis Foniadakis (Kosmos), who has collaborated with many ballet companies worldwide as both dancer and choreographer; and Lucinda Childs (Dance 1), an American postmodern dancer/choreographer and actress. See full bios at the bottom of the page.
The Mason Dance Fête held prior to the Dance Gala Concert performance, features wine, hors d’oeuvres, and student showcases exploring the featured choreography. The Fête raises much needed School of Dance scholarship funds.
Dance excerpts in the video below include Doug Varone's Mass, Yin Yue's Within Reach, and Lar Lubovitch's A Brahms Symphony at the 2018 Dance Gala Concert.
Guest Choreographer Bios
Lucinda Childs began her career at the Judson Dance Theater In New York in 1963. Since forming her dance company 10 years later, she has created more than 50 works, both solo and ensemble. In 1976, she was featured in the landmark avant-garde opera Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, for which she won an Obie Award. Since 1981, Childs has choreographed more than 30 works for major ballet companies, including the Paris Opera Ballet and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. She has also directed and choreographed a number of contemporary and eighteenth-century operas, including Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for the Los Angeles Opera, Mozart’s Zaide for La Monnaie in Brussels, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Oedipe, Vivaldi’s Farnace, Handel’s Alessandro, and John Adams’s Dr. Atomic for the Opera du Rhin. Her production of Jean Baptiste Lully’s Atys premiered at Oper Kiel in 2014 and her production of Jean-Marie Leclaire’s Scylla and Glaucus premiered there in 2017. Childs is the recipient of numerous awards. She holds the rank of Commandeur in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2017 she received the Golden Lion award from the Venice Biennale and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival award for lifetime achievement. She was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York, where an exhibition of her work has been installed.
Nacho Duato was born in Valencia, Spain, and started professional ballet training with the Rambert School in London at age 18. He expanded his studies at Maurice Béjart's Mudra School in Brussels and completed his dance education at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. In 1980, Duato signed his first professional contract with the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm, and a year later Jirí Kylián brought him to the Nederlands Dans Theater in Holland, where he was quickly incorporated into the company and repertoire. His first attempt at choreography, in 1983, turned into a major success: Jardí Tancat, to Spanish/Catalan music by compatriot María del Mar Bonet won him the first prize at the International Choreographic Workshop (Internationaler Choreographischer Wettbewerb) at Cologne. In 1988 Nacho Duato was named Resident Choreographer for Nederlands Dans Theater working alongside Hans van Manen and Jirí Kylián. His ballets form part of the repertoire of companies like Cullberg Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Deutsche Oper Ballet, Australian Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Ballet Gulbenkian, Finnish Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre and Paris Opera Ballet. In 1995, he received the grade of Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres which is awarded annually by the French Embassy in Spain, and in 1998 the Spanish Government awarded him the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts. From 1990 to 2011, Nacho Duato was the artistic director at Compania Nacional de Danza. In 2011 to 2014, he was leading the ballet company of the Mikhailovsky Theatre in Russia. In 2014, Nacho Duato became general and artistic director at the Berlin State Ballet.
Andonis Foniadakis is director of Andonis Foniadakis/Apotosoma Dance Company and has collaborated with many ballet companies worldwide as both dancer and choreographer. Foniadakis was born and grew up in Ierapetra, Crete. He studied at the National School of Dance in Athens and won a Maria Callas Scholarship to study at the Rudra Béjart School, Lausanne. He graduated in 1994 and went on to dance in many pieces by Béjart, and also choreographed several works for Béjart Ballet. He subsequently danced for the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon, directed by Yorgos Loukos, and Saburo Teshigawara’s KARAS Company. As a member of Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon he danced in works by Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Bill T. Jones, Jiří Kylián, Maguy Marin and Ohad Naharin. Foniadakis founded his Lyon-based dance company Apotosoma in 2003. His works for the company include Priority (Athens Festival). He has also choreographed for companies including Aterballetto, Tanz Luzerner Theater, Sydney Dance Company, CCN Ballet de Lorraine, Martha Graham Dance Company, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Geneva Ballet, Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Bern Ballet, Ballet du Rhin, Benjamin Millepied’s dance company, Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon and the National Dance Company of Wales. He was movement coordinator with Darren Aronofsky for the film Noah. His awards include the Danza e Danza Award for Best Choreography in 2012.