Gesel on You Tube
Gesel Mason is the Artistic Director for Gesel Mason Performance Projects (www.gmasonprojects.com) and Co-founder of MRP Inc. (www.mason-rhynes.org). She has performed with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre of Utah, and under the direction of Jacek Luminski and Chuck Davis. She spent four seasons with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and continues to work with the company as a guest artist. She was also a part of Ralph Lemon’s Come home Charley Patton and most recently, How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? Ms. Mason’s solo project, NO BOUNDARIES: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers, includes work by Robert Battle, Donald McKayle, Bebe Miller, David Rousséve, Reggie Wilson, Andrea Woods and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. It received a National Dance Project Tour Only Grant for the 2008/09 season from New England Foundation for the Arts, two Metro DC Dance Awards in 2007, and was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund.
Ms. Mason has been adjunct professor at University of Maryland at College Park, and an artist-in-residence at University of Utah, Texas Woman’s University, Columbia College, and Virginia Commonwealth University. She is sought out for her ability to work with diverse populations and has traveled to Poland and Serbia where she led workshops and performances for mixed-abilities dance groups. Ms. Mason was selected Emerging Choreographer by the Bates Dance Festival in 2000 and received a 2007 Millennium Stage Local Dance Commissioning Project from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2009, she was awarded University of Utah’s first Distinguished Alumna Award in Fine Arts and Washington Performing Arts Society’s Pola Nirenska Award for Contemporary Achievement in Dance.
Gesel Mason Performance Projects (GMPP) is a project based dance company that uses art as a vehicle to encourage compassion and inquiry. Its distinctive blend of dance, theater, storytelling, and humor brings visibility to voices unheard, situations neglected, or perspectives considered taboo. “Mason understands how to move her audience to tears and laughter” (Washington Post). GMPP has been presented by Bates Dance Festival, Joyce SoHo, the Aronoff Center for the Arts, Diverse Works, 651 Arts, South Dallas Cultural Center, Painted Bride, Pro Arts Collective, Dance Place, as part of the International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, Poland, DanceAfrica, and the International Association of Blacks in Dance. Her most recent project, Women, Sex, & Desire: Sometimes You Feel Like A Ho, Sometimes You Don’t, was commissioned by Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and is a NPN Creation Fund recipient. This year, she was one of six choreographers selected by the Joyce Theater for a Rockefeller Residency Initiative to “embrace new methods of creating work by introducing them to the theater model in which projects go through multiple workshops.” Women, Sex, & Desire is currently touring and will make its New York debut at Joyce SoHo November 2011.