Guest Artists

You'll Learn from the Masters

One of the most exciting opportunities we offer dance majors at Mason is the experience of performing in significant dance works by master choreographers.

The students were extremely professional and well rehearsed, which speaks well for George Mason University’s dance program. The twelve student dancers stood out, but ironically for the fact that they blended so seamlessly into Varone’s work.

Review of 2017 performance by Doug Varone and Mason dancers

2019 Masterclass with RUBBERBAND Dance Group

Rubberband Dance Group
Victor Quijada (center), artistic director of RUBBERBAND Dance Group, taught a Masterclass to the Dance majors.

Australia's Fiona Jopp works with Mason dancers

Mason dancers worked diligently for 10 days with Fiona Jopp from Australia's Sydney Dance Company. It was an honor to have her work with them on Rafael Bonachela’s Variation 10, which will be featured during the 2020 Dance Gala.
Mason dancers worked diligently for 10 days with Fiona Jopp from Australia's Sydney Dance Company. It was an honor to have her work with them on Rafael Bonachela’s Variation 10, which will be featured during the 2020 Dance Gala.

Alumna Kim Davis returns to give masterclass

School of Dance alumna, Kim Davis, now with DanceWorks Chicago, returns to the Mason campus for a masterclass with the dance students. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services.
School of Dance alumna, Kim Davis, now with DanceWorks Chicago, returns to the Mason campus for a masterclass with the dance students. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services.

Remembering Her Roots

Rita Donahue, a Mason alum and dancer with Mark Morris Dance Group, works with students. Donahue first saw the Mark Morris perform while taking classes at Mason, and sees her training here as having had a big impact on her career. “It was all of the teachers collectively and the former Mason faculty who were a huge influence on me. ... It was the whole package that served as my support and inspiration…they gave me the confidence to pursue dancing.”
Rita Donahue, a Mason alum and dancer with Mark Morris Dance Group, works with students. Donahue first saw the Mark Morris perform while taking classes at Mason, and sees her training here as having had a big impact on her career. “It was all of the teachers collectively and the former Mason faculty who were a huge influence on me. ... It was the whole package that served as my support and inspiration…they gave me the confidence to pursue dancing.”

Mason Alum Shares Knowledge

Billy Smith, a Mason alum and dancer with Mark Morris Dance Group, creates an original work on students.
Billy Smith, a Mason alum and dancer with Mark Morris Dance Group, creates an original work on students.

Our guest artist residencies are intense learning opportunities. After choreographers choose their casts, a challenging 10-day rehearsal period begins that parallels a professional work schedule. These long days result in a finished work that is performed in our 2,000-seat concert hall. Artists often return for the performances. We also enjoy watching our alums return to perform on the same stage where they began.

Guests artists have included such well-known names as Victor QuijadaFiona JoppLucinda ChildsNacho DuatoAndonis FoniadakisRobert BattleMark MorrisLar LubovitchAlejandro CerrudoKyle AbrahamPaul Taylor, Andrea Miller, Larry Keigwin, and Doug Varone. Students make connections that are invaluable to their careers.

We believe dancers learn best through dancing – there's no better way to grow artistically than by working and learning within some of the most compelling pieces. The variety, the intensity, the vibrancy of being part of something excellent is what these residencies are about.

Everyone in my company loves visiting George Mason University. It’s a place where we can perform for an audience that loves dance and a place where we can teach students who love to dance. What could be better than that? It’s an inspiring environment. …I hold George Mason University’s dance program in high regard. The program is really doing something right.

Mark Morris

The guest artist experience with visiting faculty, Jean Emile

Mason Dancers Discuss a Guest Artist Residency