Garth Fagan, interviewed by Jane Oakes

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Tynan, Jacob
Leslie, Bruce
Oaks, Jane
Dance , Garth Fagan Dance , The Lion King , The Julliard School , Jacquie Davis , Irma Pylyshenko , Wayne University , Jamaican National Dance Company , SUNY Distinguished Professor
Garth Fagan was born in Jamaica in 1940, and began performing in the Jamaican National Dance Company while in high school. In 1960, he came to the U.S., where he earned an undergraduate degree in psychology at Detroit’s Wayne University. While there he danced with future Brockport faculty Jacquie Davis and Irma Pylyshenko. In 1969, Fagan was invited to join the faculty of SUNY Brockport, where he was soon inspired by the talent of the Rochester youth under his tutelage to start his own dance company, originally called ‘The Bottom of the Bucket’. His ‘Garth Fagan Dance’ has received international acclaim, and he has received worldwide praise for his choreography of Broadway’s production of <em>The Lion King</em>. He taught at Brockport for over three decades and retired in 2002. In 1985 he was appointed State University of New York Distinguished Professor, the University’s highest rank. Fagan was also awarded honorary doctorates from The Juilliard School, the University of Rochester, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.