Nazareth College is pleased to announce that choreographer Garth Fagan will address the Class of 2010 during Nazareth’s 83rd Annual Commencement, a combined ceremony for its undergraduate and graduate students at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 9. Fagan’s speech marks the first year that Nazareth will hold its commencement ceremony at the Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester. For more information, please call Julie Long at (585) 389-2456 or Alicia Nestle at (585) 389-2457.
Fagan is a world-renowned, award-winning choreographer who has choreographed such prestigious performances as Broadway’s The Lion King, for which he won a Tony Award. He taught at the State University of New York at Brockport for more than 30 years and in 1970 started his own dance company. Based in Rochester, N.Y., the company consisted of inner-city youth and students who came late to dance. As a result, it was called The Bottom of the Bucket, But … Dance Theatre and in 1981 was changed to The Bucket Dance Theatre. By the time the company was in its 20th year, it became known as Garth Fagan Dance.
Fagan’s dance has developed into a unique, signature movement style and vocabulary, combining elements of modern dance and ballet with African and Caribbean rhythms and postures. He and his company have received many awards and honors including his 1998 Tony Award for Best Choreography for The Lion King and the 2001 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a three-year Choreography Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 1996, Fagan was one of 25 American scholars, artists, professionals, and public figures to receive the title Fulbright 50th Anniversary Distinguished Fellow.
Fagan has also been awarded for his work in the community with the 2008 Citizen Diplomat Award from the National Council for International Visitors which promotes excellence in citizen diplomacy, and the George Eastman Medal from the University of Rochester for outstanding achievement and dedicated service.
Garth Fagan Dance performed at the 50th anniversary of Nazareth College in 1974 and since then has performed at the Arts Center more than any other dance company. The Nazareth College Arts Center was formally established as the Rochester performance home of Garth Fagan Dance in 2007. The 35 year relationship between Nazareth College and Garth Fagan Dance culminated in a critically acclaimed performance marking the re-opening of the Arts Center in September 2009. Fagan and his dance company have brought local, regional, national and international visibility to the Nazareth College Arts Center for the excellence of its programming.
Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester, N.Y. The College offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management. Nazareth's strong cultures of service and community prepare students to be successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students.