- About Us
Garth Fagan is one of America’s most original and influential choreographers. Born in Jamaica, Fagan graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and studied in New York with many of the pioneers of 20th Century dance, including José Limon, Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham. Combining the traditions of Afro-Caribbean dance with classical ballet, modern and post-modern techniques, Fagan has developed a uniquely expressive dance vocabulary. He first won acclaim with works created for his own company, Garth Fagan Dance, established in 1970. In addition to work with his own ensemble, he has created original works for America's most distinguished modern dance companies, as well as for the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the New York City Ballet. In the 1980s he moved outside the world of pure dance into the theater, staging dances for the Kennedy Center’s world premiere staging of Duke Ellington’s opera, Queenie Pie, and the New York Shakespeare Festival’s 1988 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fagan enjoyed one of his greatest successes with the Broadway production of The Lion King, one of the most beloved theatrical productions of all time. Fagan's inspired choreography for The Lion King won the year's Drama Desk Award, Outer Circle Critics Award and the 1998 Tony Award for Best Choreography. Fagan, a recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, is a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York, and holds honorary doctorates from five institutions, including the Julliard School. In this podcast, recorded at the Academy of Achievement's 2001 Summit in San Antonio, Texas, he tells the Academy's student delegates about his family and childhood, his education, and his relationships with his mentors. He also explores the spiritual rewards of art, and the nature of talent.
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