Performance and Garth Fagan Essay

Submitted By maddiec123
Words: 927
Pages: 4

On December 1, 2011, the Garth Fagan Dance Company performed a sample of their dances at Nazareth College. This company was founded 41 years ago by Garth Fagan himself in Rochester New York. This company consists of 15 members and their dances are based on Afro-Caribbean influences and Garth Fagan’s unique style consisting of ballet and post-modern dance. This dance company has traveled all over the world and has performed for thousands of people. For this particular performance, the company did four portions of their most notable repertoire. The last dance they did was titled “Transition Translation” and the portion they performed was called “One Love.” Using music by the Jazz Jamaica All Stars, the whole company danced in this piece to really exemplify the style of Garth Fagan himself. Uniquely, the piece started in complete silence, with a single man performing a solo. Garth Fagan chose to begin this piece without music to really showcase the dance itself and let it speak to the audience. The dance was slow, raw, and emotionally driven. Still in silence, a woman joined him and they proceeded to perform a duet with the same dynamic. One could almost infer that the man and woman were dancing out a love story, and showing their passion for each other. Abruptly the music of reggae style came on and the whole dance company proceeded to come out onstage and work in unison to convey the message of this piece. The lighting allowed for a bright and energetic atmosphere, and the dancers took advantage of the entire stage space. The women and men were both wearing very warm colors that included yellows, oranges, and reds, and many of the women had on floral patterns. There was a definite Afro-Caribbean style in their movement, and the dancers showcased this with buoyant and rapid movement using extended limbs and pointed feet which had a feel of ballet to them. The dance was very synchronized and besides the solos in the beginning, it was very much similar. The dancers very much looked like they were having fun, and with their expressive faces and movement the audience members could feel as if they were up on stage having fun as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the upbeat nature of this piece, because it really showcased the personalities of the individual dancers. They didn’t look like they were dancing because they had to; they looked like they were dancing because they loved the art form. The combination of colors worked really nicely with the dance because it brought on a feeling of happiness and care free living. The dancers were very accurate on a technical standpoint, and used beautiful movements to express Garth Fagan’s chorographical intent. The music by the Jazz Jamaica All Stars went really well with the piece as well, because it’s upbeat reggae music matched the dance style of the company. I felt that this dance was about people being themselves and using dance as an expressive form, which is something that Garth Fagan is all about. This dance was probably the most memorable out of all the pieces they performed, just because the dancers really looked like they were having fun. I was also impressed with the diverse background of dancers that Garth used, because in the past he only had dancers of the South American and African descent. He introduced other races such as Caucasian and Latino into his company which added a complete feel of diversity, which was extremely refreshing. However, there were some things that did not go so well with the dance. The idea that Garth had to