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Save the Dance 

Four years after it canceled a show, an esteemed dance troupe returns.

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Fans have been waiting more than four years for this performance by Garth Fagan Dance at Playhouse Square tonight. The Rochester, New York-based modern dance company was scheduled to perform in 2001. But after September 11, ticket sales plummeted, and the show was canceled.

The troupe presents five dances tonight, including the Ohio premiere of "Life: Dark/Light," a work inspired by jazz violinist and Vietnam vet Billy Bang. The pieces were created by Fagan, a Jamaican dancer who combines vigorous torso movements with the leg speed and precision of ballet. He's best known as the award-winning choreographer of Disney's Broadway hit The Lion King. "Because of that, people have a sense of his Afro-Caribbean style," says Pam Young, executive director of Dance Cleveland, which is presenting the program.

Fagan's company, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, is widely influential, says Young. "It has a historic perspective on the cutting edge," she says.
Sat., Feb. 25, 8 p.m.

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