Garth Fagan choreographed the spectacular Broadway production of The Lion King, sealing his legacy. But there’s much more to the 71-year-old Fagan than leaping gazelles and flying baboons. His company, Garth Fagan Dance, has set the standard for contemporary dance inspired by the many movement styles of the African diaspora. Fagan began his career touring with the national dance company of Jamaica and studied with mid-20th-century greats such as Pearl Primus, Lavinia Williams, Martha Graham, Jose Limon, and Alvin Ailey. He imbibed each master’s approach and created his own, ever-changing style with strong Caribbean, modern, and African-American influences.
Earlier this year, he debuted Madiba, his tribute to Nelson Mandela, set to music by South African jazz composer Abdullah Ibrahim. Madiba, titled for the name of Mandela’s clan, is one of five dances on the bill for Garth Fagan Dance’s first performance in South Florida, way down south at the shimmery new South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center.
Sat., Nov. 5, 8 p.m., 2011