Burst! is a five-hour durational performance experiment that sources the creative expertise of Black women as a transformational practice to mark the transition from 2020 into 2021. Burst! represents the culmination of Gesel Mason’s Texas Performing Arts/Fusebox Festival Residency for Yes, And. The event was also a part of the Transmissions exhibition at ICOSA Gallery in Austin, TX, curated by Terra Goolsby and Tammie Rubin.
Burst! streamed from 10 p.m. CST Dec. 31 to 3 a.m. CST Jan. 1. Mason embodies performance states and characters as portals to other ways of being in a quest to create from a liberated space supported by the voices, experience, and expertise of Black women. The event features video portraits of Austin residents Yunina Barbour-Payne, Miriam Conner, Ariel René Jackson, Mykaela Johnson and Nakia Winfield, as well as contributions from the Yes, And Community. Mason shares the gallery with work by local visual artists Brooke Burnside, Christina Coleman, Cindy Elizabeth, Mercy Emelike, Ariel René Jackson, and Dawn Okoro.
You Are Why! (2014)--choreographed by internationally-acclaimed Hip-Hop artist Rennie Harris--is a driving trio of women set to grooving house music that evolves into one woman’s journey of resisting, exploring, and embodying her sexuality. The work is the first inclusion of Hip-Hop to the No Boundaries Project. Performed by Gesel Mason with special appearances by Mecca Madyun and Erinn Liebhard.
antithesis collides the genres, bodies and cultures of postmodern and erotic dance in order to challenge how female sexuality is perceived, performed and (re)presented. This excerpt shows two Denver, CO locations: at the Museum of Contemporary Art and 580 Gilpin St. (a home/art studio).
Donald McKayle, a living legend in his own right, is the one choreographer in the No Boundaries archive who provides a link between the more contemporary artists and the historical precedents before Alvin Ailey. His solo, Saturday’s Child (1948) is based on a poem of the same name by Countee Cullen. Sixty years later, the same work performed by Mason in December 2014 at the American Dance Guild in New York City, takes on another nuanced meaning.
“Mason depicted a downtrodden beggar. Twisted and stumbling, Mason inched across the stage as the poem related a life of pain and poverty…a heartbreaker.” – Wendy Liberatore, The Daily Gazette
Excerpt from Women, Sex, and Desire: Sometimes You Feel Like a Ho, Sometimes You Don’t, an evening length multi-media performance dialogue examining how women navigate sex, desire, choice, and perception. Provocative, sensual, amusing, and raw, Women, Sex, & Desire reflected the struggles and pleasures we encounter as sexual beings – whatever our erotic choices may be.
Ever went to a modern or contemporary dance concert and felt completely lost? Gesel Mason (dancer) and Cheles Rhynes (narrator) offer this hilarious, but true, primer called How to Watch a Modern Dance Concert or What in the Hell are They Doing on Stage?
"Gesel Mason's 'How to Watch a Modern Dance Concert, or What in the Hell are They Doing on Stage?' was even funnier than it's title, and wickedly on the mark..."-- Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post