Dance! At The Lyric

Garth Fagan, Tony Award winner for Best Choreography for The Lion King will present his company and contemporary pieces at Dance at The Lyric.
Dance! At The Lyric

Location: Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric, 140 West Mount Royal Avenue

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. Fagan’s ever-evolving dance language draws on many sources: sense of weight in modern dance, torso-centered movement and energy of Afro-Caribbean, speed and precision of ballet, and the rule breaking experimentation of the post-moderns.

Norwood Pennewell (Rehearsal Director/Assistant to Mr. Fagan), who joined Garth Fagan Dance in 1978, is the quintessential Garth Fagan dancer and Fagan’s assistant and muse. Pennewell is a recipient of a 1988 Bessie Award and has had several major works created for him, including Passion Distanced, Time After Before Place, and Moth Dreams, among others. Pennewell’s dancing has been seen on Great Performances, The Tonight Show, and Duke Ellington’s Queenie Pie. In 1994, he was invited to perform in the 66th Annual Academy Awards broadcast. Pennewell teaches both company and master classes for Garth Fagan Dance. He assisted Fagan during his work on Broadway’s The Lion King and the NYC Ballet 50th anniversary Ellington project. Pennewell had his first choreographed premiere in 2010 with Hylozoic and presented Liminal Flux in 2011. Pennewell has choreographed five works for Garth Fagan Dance, 2010 “Hylozoic”, 2011 “Liminal Flux”, 2013 “Gin”, 2014 “After Hours” and this year, he has choreographed “So You See” to critical acclaim.
Steve Humphrey (Dancer) is an original member of Garth Fagan Dance. Over the past 41 years, Fagan, Humphrey’s only teacher, has created major roles for him, including Oatka Trail, which won Humphrey one of the first Bessie Awards in 1984. A native of Ann Arbor, he has been featured on Great Performances and in Duke Ellington’s Queenie Pie at the Kennedy Center.

Natalie Rogers-Cropper (School Director/Asst. Rehearsal Director) joined Garth Fagan Dance in 1989 and became a principal dancer until 2004. After a seven-year absence, Rogers is back on stage. In 1992 she received a prestigious Bessie Award and in 1993 received the President’s Award from her country of birth, Trinidad and Tobago. Rogers was voted one of the top three female modern dancers in the world by readers of Dance Magazine in the 2004 “Reader’s Choice” awards. She danced at the 66th Annual Academy Awards and was featured in the Great Performances production of Garth Fagan’s Griot New York. Rogers was one of Fagan’s assistants for his Tony Award-winning choreography for The Lion King on Broadway, as well as assisting him in constructing Ellington Elation for New York City Ballet and Jukebox for Alvin for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Rogers has taught the Fagan technique worldwide for 24 years and is director of the Garth Fagan Dance School and the annual Garth Fagan Dance Summer Movement Institute. She has lectured on dance and Garth Fagan Dance for the past 23 years at various schools, colleges, and theaters all over the country, and has set works by Garth Fagan at various institutions. Rogers received her BFA from the Juilliard School in 1984.

Vitolio Jeune (Dancer) began his dance training at age 17 in his native Haiti at Artcho Danse under the guidance of Jeanguy Saintus. He was a principal dancer with the Ayikodans Dance Company, touring nationally and internationally for five years, as well as a guest artist with La Companie Trilogie. Jeune is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts and recently finished as a top 14 contestant in season five of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance. He joined the company in August 2009.

Guy Thorne (Dancer) emigrated from Jamaica as a young man, beginning his career in the US as a scholarship student at the Dance Theater of Harlem & later joining Garth Fagan Dance (2002-2009). As Artistic Director of Rochester-based FuturPointe Dance (2009-2015), Guy received a Jubilation Foundation Fellow and the 2014 Lillian Fairchild Memorial Award. Guy has been active in the Rochester community, most significantly his work with the Rochester City School District, the University of Rochester and Nazareth College. work Thorne has collaborated with several noted artists such as McArthur Genius Award recipient Carrie Mae Weems while at SUNY Potsdam in the capacity of visiting Professor. He has engaged audiences with multi-media dance theater productions & has toured nationally & internationally as a dancer/choreographer, Artist in Residence, teacher of Dance technique & projection design. Guy is a 20 year veteran & holds fine arts degrees in Dance & Theater Production.

Adriene B. Hodge (Dancer) began her formal dance training at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, in Washington, DC and is an Ailey/Fordham BFA graduate. Adriene was a member of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company and has performed works by Sean Curran, Earl Mosely, Helen Pickett, Jennifer Muller, David Parsons, Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Martha Graham, Lester Horton and Alvin Ailey. Adriene is excited to be a part of Garth Fagan Dance and thanks her husband, family and friends for their love and support as she continues to journey and grow in her artistry. Adriene joined Garth Fagan Dance in 2014

Wynton Rice (Dancer) a native Rochesterian, is a graduate of School of the Arts in Rochester, NY. He recently graduated from Ursinus College with a BA in dance and exercise sports science and joined the company in July 2009. He is extremely thankful to Mr. Fagan, Norwood Pennewell, and Natalie Rogers-Cropper for their support and guidance. He thanks his parents for pushing him in the right direction.

Andrew David O’Brian (Dancer) originally from Naples, NY, was introduced to dance at the Garth Fagan Dance Summer Movement Institute in 2008. Soon after, he attended the College at Brockport as a Dance major, studying ballet, West African, and modern dance. He also studied dance abroad in Bahia, Brazil and Kingston Jamaica at the Edna Manley College of Performing Arts. After graduating from the College at Brockport in May 2013 (BS in Dance), Andrew joined Garth Fagan Dance and completed his fifth Summer Movement Intensive at the Garth Fagan Dance School in July 2013. Andrew is extremely grateful and thankful for the love and support of his teachers, friends, and family. Andrew joined Garth Fagan Dance in 2013.

Davente Gilreath (Dancer) born and raised in Minnesota where he began his dance training at the Perpich Center for Arts Education where he was exposed to various forms and styles of dance including Modern, Ballet, Jazz, African, and Contact Improvisation. Davente then furthered his career and studies in Dance at the University of Minnesota where he received his BFA in Dance studying from professors such as Ananya Chatterjea, Erin Thompson, and Toni Pierce-Sands. During the pursuit of his degree Davente was also able to perform and create work with local Minnesota based companies such as Contempo Physical Dance and Threads Dance Project. Davente Joined Garth Fagan Dance in 2014.

Sarah Herbert (Dancer) began dancing in high school as a part of the Legacy Christian Church Worship Dance Team in Overland Park, Kansas and has loved it ever since. In 2010, she was accepted into The Conservatory of Music and Dance at The University of Missouri-Kansas City and is a recent graduate holding a BFA in both ballet and modern techniques. Sarah joined Garth Fagan Dance in 2014.

Nina Price (Dancer) originally from Frederick, Maryland, began dancing at a young age at the Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center (MMPAC). She graduated Summa Cum Laude in May of 2015 from Kent State University with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance. She studied under Kimberly Karpanty, Joan Meggitt, Andrea Shearer, and Barbara Allegra Verlezza. During her tenure at Kent, she had the pleasure of performing a diverse range of works, including choreography by Christopher K. Morgan, Karen Stokes, Linda Nutter, and internationally renowned, tony-award winning choreographer Garth Fagan. Nina joined Garth Fagan Dance in 2015. She would like to extend an immense thank you to her parents, along with all her family and friends for their endless love and support. 

Le’Tiger Walker (Dancer)
Le'Tiger Walker, 18, is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He graduated from Baton Rouge Magnet High School and is a former pre-professional company member of Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. Le’Tiger joined Garth Fagan Dance in 2015.

Rishell Maxwell (Dancer) Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rishell Maxwell began dancing at the age of 12. Her formal training began at Louisiana Leadership Institute and continued with The Dancer's Workshop and her alma mater, Baton Rouge Magnet High School. She has performed several shows with Debbie Allen.  Before joining the company, Rishell attended the Summer Movement Institute. Rishell is very grateful for the opportunities that Garth Fagan has given her and would like to thank her family and friends for all of their love and support. Rishell joined in in August 2016

William J. Ferguson II (Executive Artistic Liaison/Personal Assistant to Garth Fagan) An instructor at the Garth Fagan Dance school since 1990 and Artistic Director of the Garth Fagan Dance School Ensemble since 2000, with performances held during the Company’s Annual Rochester Season and in and around the Rochester area during the year. A company member since 1989, Bill retired from the stage in 2008, is an army brat and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force & graduated with honors from The Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Bill is husband to Nicolette Depass and father to William Donovan and Nicholas Lamond.


Saturday, July 21

1:00PM Garth Fagan Dance
5:00PM Garth Fagan Dance

Sunday, July 22

12:00PM Garth Fagan Dance
5:00PM Garth Fagan Dance
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