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Wayne State alum Garth Fagan helps bring circle of life to the stage in 'Lion King' musical

February 11, 2013

The Oscar-winning Disney film "The Lion King" won over moviegoers in 1994 with its wonderful storyline, rich animation and uplifting musical score. The tale of a lion cub destined to be king was made into a Broadway musical three years later (it plays the Detroit Opera House starting Wednesday). And like the movie, it has enjoyed major success, winning six Tony Awards in 1998. One of those coveted Tony Awards went to Garth Fagan for best choreography. He also earned a prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in 2000. The 72-year-old Jamaica native, who moved to the United States in the 1960s when he was 20, is a Wayne State University alum and went on to become director of Detroit's All-City Dance Company. Fagan also was the principal soloist and choreographer for Detroit Contemporary Dance Company and Dance Theatre of Detroit. He choreographed for renowned New York-based dance companies Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theatre of Harlem, earned a Guggenheim Fellowship and was a Fulbright 50th Anniversary Distinguished Fellow in 1996.