The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture recently celebrated celebrated the award winning-choreographer Garth Fagan during a very special event. This night was all about the man who choreographed The Lion King for Broadway and so many other things throughout his career. Below is a look at this very special celebration.
THE SMITHSONIAN’S NATIONAL MUSEUM of AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY and CULTURE,
THE LION KING and GARTH FAGAN DANCE
CELEBRATION OF TONY®, OLIVIER, HELPMANN AWARD-WINNING CHOREOGRAPHER and
FOUNDER of GARTH FAGAN DANCE – – GARTH FAGAN
On Monday, February 20th, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Lion King, and Garth Fagan Dance celebrated the show’s Tony®, Olivier, and Helpmann Award-winning choreographer and founder of Garth Fagan Dance, Garth Fagan, the longest-running Black choreographer in Broadway history.
Presented at The Oprah Winfrey Theater, the program with performance was directed and written by Rufus Bonds Jr., with reimagined Garth Fagan choreography by Norwood Pennewell, new choreography by Norwood Pennewell and Natalie Rogers-Cooper, with additional staging from The Lion King by Ruthlyn Salomons.
The performance featured dancers from The Lion King, including Michelle Camaya, Willia Noel Montague, Karine Plantadit, and Bravita Threatt with Daria Clarke, Keisha Clarke Gray, Sabrina Cmelak, John Crim, Steve Humphrey, Ira Lindsay, Nathan McNatt Jr., Norwood Pennewell, Natalie Rogers-Cropper and Gabrielle Samuel from Garth Fagan Dance.
L. Steven Taylor (The Lion King Broadway) served as the program narrator, with vocalist Nova Payton, and featured percussionists from The Lion King, Horace Junior Wedderburn, and Rolando Morales-Matos. Additional credits include Lighting Designer Jeanne Koenig, Lighting Programmer Haley Burdette, and Stage Manager Cherie B. Tay.
The program concluded with comments from Denise Robinson Simms, Associate Director of External Affairs, National Museum of African American History and Culture the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and The Lion King’s Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor and Sara Nash and Greg Reiner, Director of Dance and Director of Theater & Musical Theater for the National Endowment for the Arts, who presented and read a letter of congratulations to Fagan from President, Joe Biden.