Garth Fagan Dance
Now in its 43rd season, Garth Fagan Dance is “unfailingly original” deemed the The New York Times, which also named the Company’s piece, Mudan 175/39, third of the top six dance watching moments of 2009. Tony award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan’s dancers communicate with unbridled energy the depth, precision, and grace of Fagan’s work. The Company’s “fearless” dancers are "able to sustain long adagio balances, to change direction in mid-air, to vary the dynamic of a turn, to stop on a dime," wrote David Vaughan in Ballet Review. Fagan’s ever-evolving dance language draws on many sources: sense of weight in modern dance, torso-centered movement and energy of Afro-Caribbean, speed and precision of ballet, and the rule breaking experimentation of the post-moderns. The Company has been cited for its excellence and originality with a New York Governor's Arts Award and has claimed five winners of "Bessie" Awards (New York Performance Awards): Garth Fagan, Steve Humphrey, Norwood Pennewell, Natalie Rogers and Sharon Skepple.
The troupe has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Near and Middle East, North and South America, New Zealand, Australia and the West Indies. Foreign tours have included a 13-city tour of The Netherlands; appearances at France's Maison de la Danse and Chateauvallon Festival; Turkey's Istanbul Festival; the New Zealand International Arts Festival; Germany's Internationales Tanzfest N.R.W.; Switzerland's Basel Tanz; the Israel Festival in Jerusalem; the Vienna Festival-Tanz; a tour to Harare, Zimbabwe with the United States Information Agency; and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. In 1994, the company opened the then newly renovated American Center in Paris, France. In 1996, principal dancers were invited by the Federation Caledonienne de Danse to perform in "La Nuit des Etoiles" along with members from the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet and the Kirov Ballet.
Domestically, the Company has performed at such venues as Jacob's Pillow, Spoleto USA, Dance/Aspen, and the first National Black Arts Festival. Performances in New York City venues include Brooklyn Academy of Music, City Center and frequent seasons at the Joyce Theater. In 1993, Garth Fagan Dance went on a national tour with the Wynton Marsalis Septet performing Fagan's critically acclaimed full-evening length work Griot New York. The company was seen nationally on the "Tonight Show" starring Jay Leno in that same piece and Griot New York aired worldwide on the PBS "Great Performances -- Dance in America" series in the spring of 1995, marking the company’s third appearance on that series.
Principal dancers Norwood Pennewell and Natalie Rogers participated in the "66th Annual Academy Awards" broadcast, joined by principal dancers from seven other major international dance companies. In 2004, the company performed at the historic opening of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. That year also saw the Company as part of the grand opening celebration of Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center; they later returned in fall 2005 for their 35th Anniversary Season in New York City.