Garth Fagan Dance is Home for the Holidays


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Garth Fagan Dance will present “Home for the Holidays” with performances on December 11-15 at the Nazareth College Arts Center.

Bill Ferguson, Garth Fagan Dance Executive Artistic Liaison, and Natalie Rogers-Cropper, Garth Fagan Dance School Director, discussed what audiences will see Wednesday during News 8 at Noon.

“We have two gems, nice revivals,” said Rogers-Cropper. “We always open with ‘Prelude: Discipline is Freedom.’ That’s our signature piece. Hello, we’re here! Garth Fagan Dance, welcome! And then we have our revival. That is an interesting title. It’s ‘…ING’ and you’re supposed to fill in the part that’s before the ‘ing.’ So the whole audience will have to sit and go, let’s see, what does that mean? Happy filling, smiling, you know, so you fill that in. So it’s a really abstract piece set to Brahms which is really different. And the movement really has a nice juxtaposition of Africa and modern movement on top of this classical. And then we have a Rochester premiere by Norwood Pennewell called ‘Triptych,’ which is a fabulous trio. We’ve been rehearsing this with so much intensity because these three dancers are fairly new, they’re what we call rookies, but they have excelled to such a level that Norwood Pennewell decided I wanted to showcase them so he created this piece around them and they just are fantastic. The dancing is amazing. The movement is really, really rich and difficult as you will see. And he’s using the music of Keith Jarrett and Keith Jarrett is playing solo piano here. And when you hear Keith Jarrett and a solo piano right there, you realize that, oh, this is going to be interesting. So the music is so complex and so wonderful. And then this dancing that’s on top of it, it’s really remarkable. So we’re really proud of that. And then we’re going to close with last year’s premiere ‘The North Star,’ which is a tribute to Frederick Douglass and his 200th year anniversary.”

There will be six separate performances. “It is very gratifying, especially this time of year because one of the things that we do every year with Garth Fagan Dance is on Thursday morning we provide two lecture demonstrations for about 1600 school-aged kids for free to come and see the company,” Ferguson said. “Natalie usually does a wonderful lecture demonstration and talks about the pieces so the kids get an understanding. We’ll have opening night party of which if you buy a ticket for opening night, you’ll be able to come to that party. Then we have kid-friendly matinees at which the Garth Fagan Dance student ensemble will perform, of which I’m the choreographer and artistic director and we’ll be performing a piece called ‘Forethought in Motion’ with music by William Grant Still who is an African-American Rochester classical composer, and some BOGOs. We’re trying some new things. We’re trying to get more people in the theater, come in and support Garth Fagan Dance. Get your tickets now, get your tickets now. Come and see us.”

For tickets to “Home for the Holidays” visit the Nazareth Arts Center Box Office, call (585) 389-2170, or visit the Garth Fagan Dance website.

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