WMU News

Tony Award-winning choreographer does dance residence

Oct. 14, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Department of Dance welcomes George Faison, Tony Award-winning choreographer of "The Wiz," for guest artist residencies October 23-31 and again in January 2005.

While at WMU, Faison will conduct master classes, lecture, and teach his concert dance titled "Suite Otis" to WMU dance students. "Suite Otis," set to the music of Otis Redding, will be featured in the department's Winter Concert of Dance in February 2005.

Two residency events are free and open to the public. Thursday, Oct. 28, Faison will conduct a rehearsal from 7:30 to 9 p.m., which is open to the public for observation. Friday, Oct. 29, Faison will present a public lecture from 4 to 5 p.m. titled "My Life In Theater." Seating for these events is limited. Please call the Department of Dance at (269) 387-5830 to reserve a space.

Faison, also a Drama Desk award-winner, was born in Washington, D.C. and was the first African American to win a Tony Award for his choreography of "The Wiz." He joined the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in 1967, where he was a principal dancer, and in 1971, went on to found the George Faison Universal Dance Experience, which toured extensively across the United States. Faison has worked on television, film and music projects with such renowned entertainers as Bill Cosby, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder. His work on the NBC television special "The Josephine Baker Story" earned him an Emmy nomination. He also conceived, wrote, and staged the 1989 television special "Cosby Salutes Ailey."

Media contact: Sara Johnson, 269 387-5830, johnsonsa@groupwise.wmich.edu

WMU News
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