PRELUDE l The Legacy of Garth Fagan Dance

(Rochester, NY) – PRELUDE l The Legacy of Garth Fagan Dance, premiering Friday, September 16, 2022 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV, takes viewers on a journey through the twists and turns of the Tony Award-winning choreographer’s storied, collaborative, and prolific career. The WXXI production also looks at three of Mr. Fagan’s long-time disciples – William J. Ferguson II, Natalie Rogers-Cropper, and Norwood Pennewell – who are now tasked with bringing his technique and legacy to the next generation. Through an immersive, cutting-edge documentary film style, PRELUDE reveals the many facets of Garth Fagan.

In celebration of 50 years of Garth Fagan Dance, the hour-long documentary explores the experiences that make up this Jamaican-American dance treasure and his work. Through Mr. Fagan’s own words, PRELUDE sheds light on how he was able to build a multi-cultural dance company that incorporates African-American, Jamaican, and American dance styles into a whole new dance technique.

Mr. Fagan’s choreography was launched into the spotlight in 1997 in Julie Taymor’s Broadway production of The Lion King, and PRELUDE reflects on what that experience meant to the choreographer and his close collaborators. Using archival video of rehearsals, performances, and interviews shot throughout the last 50 years, the film looks at the evolution of the virtuoso and his company of dancers who shared his vision and mastered his technique.

Interviews with The Lion King director Julie Taymor, Kennedy Center award-winning dancer Judith Jameson, SUNY Brockport Dancer Professor Emeritus Jacquie Davis, and many others provide a multifaceted view of all stages of Fagan’s illustrious career and a look at the next generation of Garth Fagan Dance.

PRELUDE looks at what the future holds for this new guard, as they confront challenges and reinvent themselves with new dancers, while continuing to uphold the Garth Fagan Dance legacy into the future.

PRELUDE will rebroadcast on Saturday, September 17 at 5 p.m., Sunday, September 18 at 1 p.m. and Monday, September 26 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV. To learn more, visit:

PRELUDE is made possible with support provided by Nocon and Associates, A Private Wealth Advisory Practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC; Jacqueline Davis, Dance Professor Emerita, SUNY Brockport; Gouvernet Arts Fund at the Community Foundation; Jane K. and Robert C. Stevens Fund for New Programming.

Photo: (L-R) Natalie Rogers-Cropper, William J. Ferguson II, Norwood Pennewell with Garth Fagan (center, seated)
Credit: Jason Milton



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