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BRIC's Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival to Feature Garth Fagan Dance


BRIC's Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival to Feature Garth Fagan Dance

BRIC will present Tony- and Olivier Award-winning Garth Fagan Dance on Friday, June 30. The performance, which takes place at the Prospect Park Bandshell (9th St. & Prospect Park West) is free to the public (with a suggested $5 contribution at the gate) and begins at 7:30 P.M.

Garth Fagan Dance has changed the landscape of movement with its innovative blend of modern dance, ballet, Afro-Caribbean and social dance. Jamaica born and educated in Detroit, Fagan "fuses technical virtuosity with conceptual depth" (Los Angeles Times) by imbuing his work with the characters, issues, and cultural climate of his surroundings. As choreographer for Broadway's The Lion King, he brought his singular style into a new, blockbuster setting, and now he brings it right into Prospect Park.

The evening's program will feature Fagan technique, which marries the sense of weight in modern dance, torso-centered movement and energy of Afro-Caribbean, the speed and precision of ballet, and the rule-breaking experimentation of the post-moderns. Audiences will enjoy new favorites and enticing revivals! The Los Angeles Times calls Garth Fagan Dance "the indispensable dance experience of the year."

The Festival welcomes back Bud Light returning as a sponsor for the 16th consecutive year, as well as returning sponsor American Express, both Series Title Sponsors.

The Festival welcomes several new Co-Sponsors: car2go, Oris Swiss Watches, Sorbabes Gourmet Sorbet, and New York Presbyterian - Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.

Co-Sponsor IKEA Brooklyn, NYC's destination for home furnishing and goods, returns for the 9th consecutive season, providing decor to beautify the Bandshell.

WorldStage and Audible Difference Inc. are the official providers of the Festival's lighting, video and audio systems.

The Festival is presented in partnership with the City of New York Parks & Recreation and the Prospect Park Alliance.

Returning long-time Season Media Partners are The Village Voice, WABC-TV and WNYC 93.9 FM/820 AM.

Longtime Promotional partners on select performances include WBGO 88.3 FM and WFUV 90.7 FM.


Garth Fagan Dance
At BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell (Prospect Park West & 9th St., Brooklyn)
Friday, June 30 at 8.00 P.M. (Gates open at 7.00 P.M.)
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)
More information: or 718.683.5600

About Garth Fagan Dance

Now in its 46th season, Garth Fagan Dance has been acclaimed as "unfailingly original" by The New York Times, which also named the Company's piece, Mudan 175/39, third of the top six dance watching moments of 2009. Tony award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan's dancers communicate with unbridled energy the depth, precision, and grace of Fagan's work. The Company's "fearless" dancers are "able to sustain long adagio balances, to change direction in mid-air, to vary the dynamic of a turn, to stop on a dime," wrote David Vaughan in Ballet Review. The Company has been cited for its excellence and originality with a New York Governor's Arts Award and has claimed five winners of "Bessie" Awards (New York Performance Awards): Garth Fagan, Steve Humphrey, Norwood Pennewell, Natalie Rogers, and Sharon Skepple.

The troupe has performed throughout the US, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Near and Middle East, North and South America, New Zealand, Australia, and the West Indies. Foreign tours have included a 13-city tour of the Netherlands; appearances at France's Maison de la Danse and Chateauvallon Festival; Turkey's Istanbul Festival; the New Zealand International Arts Festival; Germany's Internationales Tanzfest N.R.W.; Switzerland's Basel Tanz; the Israel Festival in Jerusalem; the Vienna Festival-Tanz; Harare, Zimbabwe, with the United States Information Agency; and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. In 1994, the company opened the then-newly renovated American Center in Paris, France. In 1996, principal dancers were invited by the Federation Caledonienne de Danse to perform in La Nuit des Etoiles along with members from the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, and the Kirov Ballet. Domestically, the company has performed at Jacob's Pillow, Spoleto USA, Dance/Aspen, and the first National Black Arts Festival. Performances at New York City venues include BAM (The Brooklyn Academy Of Music), City Center, and frequent seasons at The Joyce Theater. In 1993, Garth Fagan Dance went on a national tour with the Wynton Marsalis Septet performing Fagan's critically acclaimed evening-length work Griot New York. The company was seen nationally on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" performing Griot New York and a performance of the work aired worldwide on PBS "Great Performances-Dance in America" in the spring of 1995, marking the company's third appearance on that series.

Principal dancers Norwood Pennewell and Natalie Rogers participated in the 66th Annual Academy Awards broadcast, joined by principal dancers from seven other major international dance companies. In 2004, the company performed at the historic opening of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH. Garth Fagan Dance also participated in the grand opening celebration of Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center and in the fall of 2005 for the organization's 35th anniversary season in New York City. In 2012, the company returned to BAM for the world premiere of Lighthouse/Lightning Rod with original music composed and arranged by Wynton Marsalis and scenic design by Alison Saar.

About Garth Fagan

Garth Fagan (choreographer) has been called "a true original," "a genuine leader," and "one of the great reformers of modern dance," by critics. Fagan is the founder and artistic director of the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Garth Fagan Dance, now celebrating its 46th anniversary season. A Tony and Olivier Award winner, Fagan continually renews his own distinctive dance vocabulary, which draws on many sources. "Originality has always been Mr. Fagan's strong suit, not least in his transformation of recognizable idioms into a dance language that looks not only fresh but even idiosyncratic," writes Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times.

Fagan was awarded the prestigious 1998 Tony Award for Best Choreography for his path-breaking choreography for Walt Disney's The Lion King. He also received the 1998 Drama Desk Award, 1998 Outer Critics Circle Award, 1998 Astaire Award, 2000 Laurence Olivier Award, 2001 Ovation Award, and the 2004 Helpmann Award for his work on the Broadway musical, which opened in fall 1997 to extraordinary critical praise. Fagan's distinguished work in the theater also includes the first fully staged production of the Duke Ellington street opera, Queenie Pie, at the Kennedy Center in 1986 and the opening production of Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival's Shakespeare Marathon: A Midsummer Night's Dream (1988), set in Brazil and directed by A.J. Antoon.

In the world of concert dance, Fagan choreographs primarily for Garth Fagan Dance. His work, Mudan 175/39, was named by The New York Times as the third of the top six dance watching moments of 2009. Fagan has also produced commissions for a number of leading companies, including his first work on pointe, Footprints Dressed in Red, for Dance Theatre of Harlem; a solo for Judith Jamison, Scene Seen for the debut of the Jamison Project; Jukebox for Alvin for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Never No Lament for the José Limon Company; and Ellington Elation, part of a triad of pieces commissioned by New York City Ballet in honor of Duke Ellington's centenary and New York City Ballet's 50th anniversary.

Fagan began his career when he toured Latin America with Ivy Baxter and her national dance company from Jamaica. Baxter and two other famed dance teachers from the Caribbean, Pearl Primus and Lavinia Williams, were major influences on Fagan. In New York City, Fagan studied with Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Mary Hinkson, and Alvin Ailey, who were all central to his development. Fagan was director of Detroit's All-City Dance Company as well as principal soloist and choreographer for Detroit Contemporary Dance Company and Dance Theatre of Detroit.

In October 2001, Fagan was presented with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander: a national honor bestowed upon him by the Jamaican government. In August 1998, he received the country's SpeciAl Gold Musgrave Medal for his "Contribution to the World of Dance and Dance Theater." At Prime Minister P.J. Patterson's Independence Gala, Fagan was presented with the Prime Minister's Award, a plate bearing the signatures of all the prime ministers of Jamaica, acknowledging his achievements.

In 2012 Garth Fagan was selected as an "Irreplaceable Dance Treasure" by The Dance Heritage Coalition. An irreplaceable dance treasure has made a significant impact on dance as an art form, demonstrated artistic excellence, enriched the nation's cultural heritage, demonstrated the potential to enhance the lives of future generations and shown itself worthy of national and international recognition. In 2011, the Institute of Caribbean Studies, which celebrates excellence in literature, science, technology, community service, and corporate leadership, presented Fagan with the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award.

Fagan is a Chancellor's Award-Winning Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of the State University of New York, and taught for over three decades at the State University of New York at Brockport. In the fall of 2003, Fagan received the George Eastman Medal from the University of Rochester for "outstanding achievement and dedicated service." He holds honorary doctorates from the Juilliard School, the University of Rochester, Nazareth College of Rochester, and Hobart and WilLiam Smith Colleges. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Golden Plate Award and was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement. In 1996, he was named a Fulbright 50th Anniversary Distinguished Fellow. Fagan received the 2001 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a prestigious three-year choreography fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In recognition of his contribution to modern dance, Fagan has also received the Dance Magazine Award for "significant contributions to dance during a distinguished career" and a Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement. Other awards include the Monarch Award from the National Council for Culture and Art, the Lillian Fairchild Award, and the Arts Achievement Award from his alma mater, Wayne State University.

About BRIC and the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City. The organization presents and incubates work by artists and media-makers that reflects the diversity of New York. BRIC programs reach hundreds of thousands of people each year.

BRIC's main venue, BRIC Arts | Media House, offers a public media center, a major contemporary art exhibition space, two performance spaces, a glass-walled TV studio and artist work spaces.

Some of BRIC's most acclaimed programs include the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park, several path-breaking public access media initiatives, including BRIC TV, and a renowned contemporary art exhibition series. BRIC also offers education and other vital programs at BRIC House and throughout Brooklyn.

In addition to making cultural programming genuinely accessible, BRIC is dedicated to providing substantial support to artists and media makers in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences. BRIC is unusual in both presenting exceptional cultural experiences and nurturing individual expression. This dual commitment enables BRIC to most effectively reflect New York City's innate cultural richness and diversity.

The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is BRIC's flagship performing arts program, a free, summer-long experience allowing New Yorkers to come back again and again with their friends and family to appreciate or discover a new genre, acclaimed artist, or world culture each night of the Festival. During its nearly 40-year run, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival has presented celebrated global music icons, legendary jazz artists, chart-topping indie bands, gravity-defying dance troupes, large-scale film projects and even a virtual reality performance, becoming one of the city's foremost cultural attractions and a beloved summer tradition. The festival's Executive Producer is Jack Walsh. Its Artistic Director is Rachel Chanoff. Leslie Schultz is the President of BRIC.

For more festival information, visit

Pictured: Dance Collage for Romie, Garth Fagan Dance. Photo by Erich Camping.

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