Garth Fagan

Fagan, Garth, 1940–, Jamaican-American dancer and choreographer. Jamaican-born, he studied with Ivy Baxter and left the island to dance with her company. Settling (1960) in Detroit, he attended Wayne State Univ. (grad. 1968) and studied with such dance luminaries as Pearl Primus, Martha Graham, and Alvin Ailey. In 1970 he founded his own company, based in Rochester, N.Y., and subsequently called Garth Fagan Dance. Working with this group and creating at least one new dance annually, he has established a signature style that combines the solidity of modern dance, the precision of ballet, rhythms and torso-centered movements from African and Caribbean sources, and an element of postmodern experimentation. He has also choreographed pieces for other dance troupes. Fagan leapt to wide public attention when he created the dances for the Broadway musical Lion King (1997) and won a Tony Award. Since 1972, Fagan has been a professor at the State Univ. of New York, Brockport.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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