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Daniel reviews Garth Fagan Dance

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Garth Fagan Dance. - PHOTO BY JOSH SAUNDERS
  • PHOTO BY JOSH SAUNDERS
  • Garth Fagan Dance.
In case anyone had forgotten, Thursday's performance by Garth Fagan Dance at the company's downtown studio was a poignant reminder of Fagan’s brilliance as a choreographer.

The program began with “Prelude: ‘Discipline is Freedom.’ ” A leisurely piano riff initiated a subtle jazz groove, and the moderate tempo made plenty of room for the dancers’ ecstatic, at times frenetic movements. Despite the bursts of athleticism and majestic extensions of limbs, the performers seemed rooted in the ground, giving the choreography a welcome, earthy feel.

The maxim “discipline is freedom” rang especially true as the dancers spun and bounded across the stage with an intense but refined energy. In presenting the audience with Fagan’s core aesthetics in “Prelude,” the company members seamlessly wove together the elements of ballet and Afro-Caribbean fusion.

Garth Fagan Dance. - PHOTO BY JOSH SAUNDERS
  • PHOTO BY JOSH SAUNDERS
  • Garth Fagan Dance.
The company also presented excerpts of works-in-progress, like Fagan’s “The North Star,” his forthcoming ode to Frederick Douglass, as well as intriguing choreography from dancer Norwood Pennewell.

The highlight of the evening was “In Memoriam,” a Fagan dance choreographed immediately after the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The piece was as relevant and impactful as ever.

Amidst all the abstract, emphatic movement, there was a spirit of meditation and reflection that is at the heart of all of Fagan’s works. The dancers projected inner stillness and a peace of mind that seemed to make the emotive choreography transcend time and body to become a genuine contemplation of the soul.



Garth Fagan Dance will perform again on Friday, September 21, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, September 22, at 2 p.m. at Garth Fagan Dance Studio. $20. Appropriate for ages 5 and older.
Garth Fagan Dance. - PHOTO BY JOSH SAUNDERS
  • PHOTO BY JOSH SAUNDERS
  • Garth Fagan Dance.

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