Artistic Director Gesel Mason
Gesel Mason is a choreographer, performer, educator, and arts facilitator. She is Artistic Director of Gesel Mason Performance Projects and an Associate Professor at University of Texas at Austin. She was a member of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and Ralph Lemon/Cross Performance Projects. She has also performed with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre of Utah, and under the direction of Chuck Davis, Jacek Łumiński (Silesian Dance Theatre), Murray Louis, and Victoria Marks.
Mason’s solo project, NO BOUNDARIES: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers, has featured the work of Kyle Abraham, Robert Battle, Rennie Harris, Dianne McIntyre, Donald McKayle, Bebe Miller, David Rousséve, Reggie Wilson, Andrea E. Woods Valdéz, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. NO BOUNDARIES has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, NEFA’s National Dance Project, and National Performance Network. Mason is also working on creating a digital archive, recently featured on NPR, to illuminate the unique inventions, legacies, and aesthetics of the choreographers and to reveal the tenacity, resilience and diversity of Black dance across seven decades.
In her own work, Mason utilizes dance, theater, humor, and storytelling to bring visibility to voices unheard, situations neglected, or perspectives considered taboo. In 2017, Mason was one of four choreographers commissioned to create work for American Dance Festival’s Footprints. In 2015, Mason received a Map Fund for her project antithesis, which challenged how female sexuality is perceived, performed, and (re)presented. Mason was one of six choreographers selected by the Joyce Theater for a Rockefeller Residency Initiative in 2011 and received the Millennium Stage Local Dance Commissioning Project from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2007.
Photo Credit: Enoch Chan
Photo Credit: John Borstel