‘Discipline is Freedom’: Garth Fagan Dance at the Jorgensen

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Next Saturday, Feb. 26, one of the most legendary figures in contemporary American dance, Tony-Award winning choreographer Garth Fagan, will be bringing his company (as well as his 60+ years of dancing and choreography experience) to UConn’s very own Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate the history of dance. 

Fagan has had quite the impressive career. Born and raised in Jamaica, Fagan started his performing arts career in high school, taking part in Ivy Baxter’s Jamaican National Dance Company. In 1960, Fagan decided to venture north to the United States to get an undergraduate degree in psychology from Michigan’s Wayne State University, all while still dancing. Though he did consider further delving into psychology, Fagan decided to stick with dance, and in 1969 he secured a faculty position at State University of New York in Rochester. After being invigorated by the young talent of the area, Fagan formed his dance company, Garth Fagan Dance. The rest, as you can say, is history as the dance troupe has received modern acclaim. Fagan is also well known for his choreography work for the hit Broadway musical “The Lion King” which earned him a Tony Award in 1998. However, this is not the only trophy on Fagan’s shelf however, as he has also earned a Laurence Olivier Award and a Commander in Order of Distinction of Jamaica, among numerous other honors. 

The Daily Campus was lucky enough to speak with the dance company over email about what to expect next Saturday night. 

“[Students] should expect to be viscerally and emotionally connected to our dancers as they communicate contemporary themes of humanity’s struggles and triumph over those struggles,” the Company said. “They should expect to enjoy the beauty of the human body performing seemingly impossible feats of physical wizardry with ease, control and confidence.” 

The troupe will perform a routine that is over 50 years in the making, combining new choreographies with those from the 1970s. However, this is not to say the performance is in any way traditional, as Fagan has been a trailblazer and leader in the modern dance world for his entire career. 

“[Modern dance] has evolved to encompass a broad acceptance of originality and creative thought expressed through movement,” the Company said. “Invention not based in western dance forms.” 

Ultimately, the Garth Fagan Dance company is excited to put on a show for both UConn students and the public. When asked if they had a goal or message for the audience in attendance, the troupe responded with a simple answer: “Discipline is Freedom.” 

Tickets are on sale now for the Garth Fagan Dance at the Jorgensen Center for Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8:00 p.m.  

As is for all Jorgensen events, a limited number of free rush tickets for UConn students can be acquired by emailing the box office (jorgensen.tickets@uconn.edu) between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. the morning of Feb. 26.  

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