FEBRUARY 20 & 21

A few years back, Mark Morris was often referred to as the bad boy of modern dance. Now that he’s hit Broadway, having choreographed and directed the critically unacclaimed The Capeman, he’s still the boy wonder but not always the badass. Even after using costumes with exposed buttocks or putting men in skirts, Morris surprises audiences with his ability to invert common preconceptions and deftly combine disparate cultural influences. Having started out as a flamenco dancer, then trained as a Balkan folk dancer, then in ballet, and then modern, Morris has developed a generous democratic philosophy about dance and music that is wholly American. This program will feature two Washington premieres, Rhymes With Silver and a still untitled new work set to John Harbison’s “November 19, 1828,” as well as Canonic 3/4 Studies, a 1982 piece set to Indian music. “Rhymes,” a 45-minute dance in 12 movements, features cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma and an expansive backdrop in shades of yellow, green, and red by British painter Howard Hodgkin. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax. $26-40. (703) 993-8888. (Holly Bass)