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PostHeaderIcon Garth Fagan, Lion King Musical choreographer – Interview

Fourteen years after choreographing “The Lion King,” Fagan still delights in talking about the stage musical, a melding of song, dance, story, masks and puppetry.

Garth Fagan - Choreographer Lion King Broadway Musical

Garth Fagan - Choreographer Lion King Broadway Musical

Fagan won a Tony award in 1998 for choreography. The choreographer and founder of Garth Fagan Dance attended a March performance of a touring production of “The Lion King” in Rochester, where his professional troupe is based.

The Lion King musical comes to Syracuse, NY on Tuesday, September 06, 2011 for a four-week run. It premiered on Broadway in November 1997 and continues to play there.

Based on the 1994 Disney movie, “The Lion King” tells the story of lion cub Simba, heir to his father Mufasa’s throne as ruler of the animal kingdom. Simba is remorseful believing he is to blame for his father’s death, which unbeknownst to him had been engineered by his evil uncle Scar. Guilt drives the lion cub to run away.

“The Lion King” still affects the 71-year-old Fagan in unexpected ways.

“I still bawl like a baby at the first number,” he says referring to “Circle of Life.”

“I know every step, every sound, where everyone’s going to be.

I’m checking it out to make sure things are just right. I still cry; it brings back some sort of childhood stuff that I thought I had buried.”

Memories of his daughter, who died at 3 years old in a car accident, influenced the creation of his dances.

“I never liked cats. I’m a dog person,” he says with a tinge of his Jamaican accent surfacing. But Fagan’s daughter, Sherrin, was a cat lover.

Working on a production where the big cats rule, “I had to learn how to get some respect for that,” he says with a laugh that rumbles forth.

“You use negatives to become a positive,” he says of the tragic circumstances.

Read the complete Interview {Via}


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