You'll Learn from the Masters
Mason Dance Majors gain real world experience during guest artist residencies, during which artists from all over the world come to Mason to set works on students which are performed during our annual gala concert in March.
Our guest artist residencies are intense learning opportunities and a chance for students to make connections that are invaluable to their careers. 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.
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.
Over the 2023-2024 winter break our dancers will be working hard at learning new repertoire. The Gala Concert on March 22 and 23, 2024, will feature four full-length works by four renowned choreographers:
- Kyle Abraham’s Drive, staged by Jae Neal
- Rena Butler’s This, That and the Third, staged by Rena Butler and Madison Pineda
- Martha Graham’s Steps in the Street, staged by Elizabeth Auclair
- Susan Shields’ Visions and Miracles, staged by Susan Shields and assistants Lauren Ciccolini and Nateisha Reaves
The guest artists for 2023 and who were featured at the 2023 Dance Gala in March were:
- Robert Battle’s Awakening, staged by Elisa Clark, dance artists, educator, and administrator.
- Rafael Bonachela’s Variation 10, restaged for Mason by Fiona Jopp of Sydney Dance Company
- Manuel Vignoulle's Black and White, staged by Rena Butler, artist, choreographer, and dancer to stage
- Doug Varone and Dancers's Double Octet, staged by Ryan Yamauchi and Daeyana Moss, from the company of Doug Varone and Dancers.
Choreographer Doug Varone
Doug Varone and Dancers visited Mason in February 2023 for a one-week residency, including a performance at Mason’s Center for the Arts—joined by Mason students. The program featured Somewhere (2019), Short Story (2001), Aperture (1994), and Double Octet (2021). During the residency the dancers worked on perfecting Double Octet for the Dance Gala in March 2023.
Choreographer Robert Battle
Choreographer Manuel Vignoulle
An impressive roster of guest artists visit the Mason School of Dance each year, engaging with our dancers through multi-day residencies and master classes.
During the 2022-2023 academic year, our majors have worked with:
- Julie Nakagawa and DanceWorks Chicago
- The Mark Morris Dance Group
- Doug Varone and Dancers
- Rena Butler
- Justin Peck
- Tiler Peck
- Clifford Williams
- Dwight Rhoden,
- Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, and more.
Guest Artists Experiences
The guest artist experience with visiting faculty and Alvin Ailey alum, Jean Emile
Mason Dancers Discuss a Guest Artist Residency
A Tribute to Susan Shields's, 'Sunlit Song.'