ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Garth Fagan, the creative director and founder of Garth Fagan Dance, announced that he will be stepping away from leadership of the company.

The company said that Fagan informed the board that, although he will continue to choreograph new dances, he will not be in a leadership position.

Fagan has chosen his successors: Natalie Rogers-Cropper, long-time principal dancer, will be the executive director and school director, and Norwood “PJ” Pennewell, long-time principal dancer and choreographer, will be artistic director.

“I am so proud, so happy, so honored to have these two talented people that I have known, worked with, laughed with, cried with, celebrated with for…decades…to now be taking my legacy, my artistry, my dance, my heart, forward into tomorrow,” Fagan said in a statement.

The company says the two are Bessie Award winners and worked as assistant choreographers and co-rehearsal directors of “The Lion King” musical. The director of the musical, Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor, says Fagan’s leadership will live on through them.

From the News 8 Archive:

“PJ Pennewell and Natalie Rogers are two of the most talented, creative, and supportive artists I have ever worked with,” said Taymor. “As assistant choreographers to Garth for ‘The Lion King’ they were instrumental in helping Garth create a whole new form of choreography for Broadway.”

Fagan’s new title will be Founder and Distinguished Artistic Director Emeritus.