Dancing with Music: People as Dancers

Garth Fagan Dance

I previewed a performance by the Garth Fagan Dance Company that was held at Syracuse University last night.  Garth Fagan is an award winning choreographer and is known by most for his work with the Lion King on Broadway.

The company is on a tour of New York and did a teaching performance featuring veteran dancers Norwood Pennewell and (founding member) Steve Humphrey, both Bessie Award-winners, as well as some of the newer company members.

GFD gave an excerpt from the following: “Prelude–Discipline is Freedom,” “Talking Drums,” featuring Guy Thorne, “Mix 25: Shackles,” as well as the colorful number “Touring Jubilee,” (complete with costumes from the Roaring 20s) featuring Annique S. Roberts.

I’ve seen GFD in New York and Washington, DC.  They have traveled the world, bringing sophisticated yet athletically funky movement to the masses.

What has always amazed me about the company is that the ladies are as strong as the men, and the men are as graceful as the women when on stage. There’s an equality of talent for sure.

SIF Board member Odetta Norton once trained with this group and B. Efejuku’s wife Valentina retired after a wonderful career as a featured dancer.

In a recent interview I found out that Bill T. Jones was once a student of Garth Fagan.

I look forward to seeing Fagan’s homage to visual artist Romare Bearden.

GFD will perform a complete show tonight at Syracuse University.

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