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Garth Fagan Dance To Present Joyce Theater Season

Internationally acclaimed Garth Fagan Dance returns to The Joyce Theater with two vibrant world premieres and three stirring revivals from the company's rich archive. For close to half a century, Garth Fagan - the Tony, Olivier and Bessie award-winning choreographer of The Lion King - has created an innovative signature technique that seamlessly blends the gravity of modern dance, the speed and precision of ballet and the energy and physicality of Afro-Caribbean rhythms and movements.

For this new season, the company will focus on some of today's vital social issues, while displaying the breadth of its repertoire and incredible skills of its dancers.Whether created 40 years ago or now, each dance is strikingly timely, reflecting contemporary society and touching the hearts, minds and spirits of dance lovers always.

The world premieres will include The North Star by Garth Fagan - a celebration of the life of 19th-century abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass on the bicentennial of his birth - and an impressionistic work, as yet untitled, choreographed by 40 year veteran and Bessie award winner Norwood Pennewell.

The new season will be comprised of three programs:


(All works are choreographed by Garth Fagan, unless otherwise stated)

· Prelude: Discipline is Freedom (1983):

This opening piece introduces Garth Fagan's distinctive style of dance through classroom exercises that build in complexity to a jubilant finale. It features music by pianist Abdullah (Dollar Brand) and percussionist Max Roach.

· Untitled by Norwood Pennewell (WORLD PREMIERE)

In Pennewell's ninth piece created for the company, seven dancers perform to electronic music songs including "Gold Town" and "Ghajar" by Stavroz, and "Für die liebe" by Matthew Dekay and Lee Burridge. Costumes and lights are by Keiko Voltaire and Lutin Tanner.

· The North Star "Carry us away captivity, require from us a song" (WORLD PREMIERE)

Fagan celebrates the life of prominent American abolitionist, orator and author Frederick Douglass, using his favorite Psalm 137: Rivers of Bablyon, performed by The Melodians, and a score by veteran Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra saxophonist, Walter Blanding. The work features major solos by Bessie award-winner Steve Humphrey, as well as Norwood Pennewell; a men's section featuring Vitolio Jeune, Davente Gilreath, and LeTiger Walker; a section for women featuring Bessie award-winner Natalie Rogers with Adriene B. Hodge, Rishell Mawell, and Anna Lee; and a final section featuring the company.

· From Before (1978)

In this homage to African and Caribbean dance, performers move in an inventive, non-traditional way, while wearing skin-filling unitards of bold colors. Set to music by percussionist Ralph MacDonald, the piece is a tribute to one's ancestry and celebrates the importance of those who came "before" and the roles they played in giving strength and purpose to the culture of the community.


· by Norwood Pennewell (WORLD PREMIERE) (See description above)

· In Memoriam (September 2001)

The Innocent, The Brave, The Hands, The Minds...All Mankind,

dedicated to the victims and survivors of September 11, 2001


Aretha Franklin John McCain Paul Taylor

In this solemn and moving tribute to the victims and families of 9/11, a cohesive group of eight dancers reflects on the ability of humanity to rise above and beyond tragedy. The piece is set to a sacred chant by the 16th-century composer Cristóbal de Morales and saxophonist Jan Bares.

· The North Star (WORLD PREMIERE) (See description above)

· Mudan 175/39 (2009)

Commemorating the City of Rochester's 175th anniversary and Garth Fagan Dance's 39th anniversary, this masterpiece refers to the beauty and symbolic meanings of the Tree Peony, once a royal plant in the palaces of China. It uses the music of contemporary Chinese composers played by the celebrated Ying Quartet. Mudan 175/39, was named by The New York Times as the third of the top six dance watching moments of 2009.


· Prelude: Discipline is Freedom (1983) (See description above).

· Untitled by Norwood Pennewell (WORLD PREMIERE) (See description above)

· In Memoriam (See description above)

· The North Star (WORLD PREMIERE) (See description above)

Appearing at the Joyce will be long-time Fagan stars and Bessie Award-winnersSteve Humphrey, Norwood Pennewell and Natalie Rogers, as well as Vitolio Jeune, Guy Thorne, Adriene B. Hodge, Wynton Rice, Andrew David, Davente Gilreath, Sarah Herbert, Le'Tiger Walker, Rishell Maxwell, Anna Lee, J'royce Jata and Justus Alicea.


Program A:

Prelude, Untitled, The North Star, From Before

Oct. 30, 7:30pm; Oct 31, 7:30pm; Nov 3, 8pm; Nov 4, 2:00pm

Program B

Untitled, In Memoriam. The North Star, Mudan

Nov 1, 8pm; Nov 2, 8pm; Nov 4, 7:30pm

Program C - Family Saturday Matinee

Prelude, Untitled, In Memoriam, The North Star

Nov 3, 2pm


Single tickets start at $10. Call JoyceCharge (212-242-0800); visit the Box Office (Monday-Friday, 12- 6pm); or charge online at NOTE: Ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street. For more information about Garth Fagan Dance, visit

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