Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers
NO BOUNDARIES: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers, celebrates the depth and diversity of style and vision in the field of modern dance. Several of the nation’s leading contemporary African-American choreographers, including Bebe Miller, Donald McKayle, Reggie Wilson, Andrea Woods, David Roussève, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar set original and historical works on soloist Gesel Mason, for the purposes of this unique project. Ms. Mason has also been commissioned to create works for this project, thereby encompassing almost seven decades of choreographic vision. These artists demonstrate the diversity of work by, for and about African-Americans; their visions push Black Dance in America beyond stereotypes and color boundaries.
Gesel Mason, Artistic Director of Mason/Rhynes Productions and Gesel Mason Performance Projects, created NO BOUNDARIES in part to challenge conventional notions of Black Dance as dances based in the Ailey tradition or Horton technique, as African dance, or as Negro Spirituals. By touring the work of artists of regional and national significance, NO BOUNDARIES exposes audiences to the work several choreographers in one evening. Video segments are seamlessly integrated between the solos, allowing audiences to hear the artists describe, in their own words, their creative process, cultural influences, and perspectives on Black Dance. The combination of video footage and live performance reveals an aspect of the artist and access to their work that is rarely experienced in a traditional presentation of their work.
Residency/ Community Dialogue
Community and artist dialogue are an important part of this project. A residency package, ranging from three days to two weeks, can include performances of all or a few of the solos, informal showings and panel discussions of the video documentary, post-show discussions, and workshops and/or master classes by Mason or featured choreographers in the project. In addition to Gesel Mason performing 3-5 of the commissioned solos, the project can include performances by a local guest artist or company, who also have the work of a Black choreographer in their repertoire. For a longer residency, Mason can also be commissioned to set a work on a local artist or company and premiere the piece as a part of the evening. Each residency is tailored to meet the needs of the presenter and their community, making this project accessible and meaningful on a small or large scale. Residencies range from $7,500 to $16,500.
NO BOUNDARIES is fully developed and available for touring. The project has the distinctive ability to evolve and yet stay true to the overall concept. It is designed to be an ongoing project, allowing the repertory to shift and grow as works by new choreographers are added and to accommodate each residency. The project’s size allows it totour easily, contributing to its potential for a wide geographic reach.
NO BOUNDARIES: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers is a National Performance Network Creation Fund co-commissioning project with 651 Arts and Dance Place. The Creation Fund is sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. NO BOUNDARIES is also supported in part by Bates Dance Festival, Center Stage (VA), American Dance Festival, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland State Arts Council, National Foundation of Advancement in the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts. For booking or more information contact Cheles Rhynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-887-1078.