George Faison

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George Faison

Choreographer/Director/Producer

For more than forty years, George Faison has been a driving force in the  theater as well as film, video, television, concert dance, concert  staging, television commercials and trade shows. George is  internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among  the world’s most important directors, choreographers and writers and is  known for his uncompromising pursuit of artistic excellence and the  production and nourishment of socially relevant art and artist. He has a keen eye for recognizing emerging talent such as S. Epatha Merkerson, Debbie Allen, Stephanie Mills, Phylicia Rashad, Eartha Robinson, Gary DeLoatch, Shedrack Anderson, Jackee and Hinton Battle among others.

George has stayed in tune with the pulse of the artistic  community and the people that make up its audiences and his impeccable  reputation has attracted a devoted national and international following. This while maintaining a deep bond with his roots through innovative  education and community outreach initiatives. This tradition began in  the early 1970s, when the George Faison Universal Dance Experience  performed on the Harlem Cultural Council™ Dance Mobile throughout the Harlem Community, while also offering dance scholarships and free  rehearsal space at the Universal Dance Center. Having himself benefited  from the educational and training opportunities offered to him, he is  committed to giving back to the community on a global level.

Faison had  the vision to convert a historical building in Central Harlem, NY into  an organization with a serious mission to recognize the arts and  cultural expressions as an integral aspect of human existence and impart their value and importance to our daily lives through the Faison  Firehouse Theater initiatives. George made his choreographic debut on Broadway with Don’t™ Bother Me, I Can’t Cope in 1972. In 1974, he choreographed The Wiz, the successful all-black musical retelling of The Wizard of Oz. Faison won a Tony Award for his choreography, a first for an African  American in that category.

George has choreographed and directed more  than thirty plays and musicals, including the Broadway musicals Via Galactica (1973) and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (1976) with music by Leonard Bernstein; a Radio City Music Hall production of Porgy and Bess (1983) Tony Award Nomination; and Sing, Mahalia, Sing (1985) at the Shubert Theatre in Philadelphia. He also has worked in television,  and in 1989 he conceived and produced the television special Cosby Salutes Ailey for the 30th anniversary of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He won  an Emmy Award Nomination for his choreography of the HBO special The Josephine Baker Story (1991).

In addition to his work in theater, George has staged concerts and videos  for many of the world’s greatest performers. Amongst those whom George has and continues to work with are Ashford and Simpson, Aretha  Franklin, Melba Moore, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Dionne  Warwick, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Roberta Flack, Stephanie Mills,  Miles Davis, Natalie Cole, The Weather Girls, Cameo, Glenn Jones, Betty  Carter, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby. Also, George has lent his talents to commercial videos and trade shows.

His clients include Ford Motor Company, Lincoln-Mercury, AT&T, IBM, OTIS Elevators,  GlaxoSmithKline, Peugeot, BMW, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Polaroid, AVON, and Coca-Cola and the French companies: Peugeot and Bull . It is from this incredible experience that Faison had the vision to  convert a historical building in the Central Harlem Community into an  organization with a serious mission to recognize the arts as an integral aspect of human existence and perpetuate their value and importance to our daily existence through the Faison Firehouse Theater.

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George Faison at the Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT)

Source:  http://faisonfirehouse.org/ (2014)

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