Gesel R. Mason

Learn about how Gesel R. Mason's belief in the power art has to create compassionate and thoughtful human beings, is reflected in her work.

Co-Area Head, Dance Associate Professor, Dance

Gesel Mason believes art has the power to create compassionate and thoughtful human beings. As a choreographer, performer, producer and director, she uses dance and performance to shift perspectives and examine the human condition. She is the Artistic Director of Gesel Mason Performance Projects. Mason has been a member of Liz Lerman's Dance Exchange and Ralph Lemon/Cross Performance Projects. Over 15 years in the making, her solo performance project No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers features work by 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. The project is evolving into a digital humanities archive to disseminate and celebrate the voices of African American choreographers. Mason utilizes dance, theater, humor and storytelling to bring visibility to voices unheard, situations neglected or perspectives considered taboo. Her current choreographic project Yes, And is an evolving methodology activated by the question: Who would you be and what would you do if, as a Black woman, you had nothing to worry about? Numerous entities have presented her choreography, including the John F. Kennedy Center, American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and The International Association of Blacks in Dance.

     Curriculum Vitae (CV): Gesel Mason

    Gesel Mason in Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's Bent (Photo by Amitava Sarkar)

    Contemporary Dance Technique and Choreography

    Contemporary Dance Technique, Movement Composition and Choreography, Performance Studio, Advance Projects in Performance, Projects in Dance Performance and Repertory; Graduate: Embodiment, Legacy and Archiving Performance

    Recent Performances

    • Burst! - five hour solo performance event at ICOSA gallery in Austin, Texas and virtually via livestream (2020)
    • No Boundaries – film premiere at Fusebox Virtual Festival in Austin, Texas (2020) 
    • No Boundaries – solo performance at 651 ARTS and RestorationART at The Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, New York (2018)
    • Josephine – solo performance and exhibition at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Captiva, Florida (2019)
    • You Don't Say... - group work commissioned for Footprints at American Dance Festival at the Reynolds Industries Theater in Durham, North Carolina (2017)

    Recent Residencies and Recognitions

    • Pillow Lab Choreographic Resident at Jacob’s Pillow for Yes, And (2021)
    • National Endowment for the Humanities’ Digital Humanities Advancement Grant for No Boundaries in “Prototyping an Extensible Framework for Access to Dance Knowledge.” (2020)
    • New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project Production Grant for Yes, And (2020)
    • Texas Performing Arts and Fusebox Festival Residency for Yes, And (2020)
    • UT Austin College of Fine Arts Distinguished Research Award (2020)
    • UT Austin Humanities Research Award for No Boundaries (2019)
    • Selected for Rauschenberg Artist Residency, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida (2019)
    • National Performance Network Creation Fund for Yes, And (2019)
    • No Boundaries featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Colorado Public Radio and Sightlines (2018)
    • National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Grant with 651 ARTS for No Boundaries documentary (2016)

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    Contact Information


    Campus location
    WIN 2.132E