Unlike any other choreographer, Edward Morgan manages to exhibit versatility, originality, and accessibility while maintaining integrity and
commitment to his high level of artistry.
"Every port de bras turns into a Fragonard of movement." The New York Sun
Noted particularly for classical ballet, his styles also include jazz, tap, opera, musical theatre, and modern dance.
In a career far too lengthy to list, Mr. Morgan, a former principal dancer of the original New York City Joffrey Ballet, has danced specific lead and solo roles for President's Reagan, and Bush, at Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center, and performed for Henry Kissinger at the International House, affiliated with Columbia University.
Mr. Morgan also raised awareness about the AIDS epidemic, with Mayor Koch in a Public Service Announcement, shown in movie theaters throughout New York City, (see video page), Mayor Dinkins, for the Board of Education, and Washington DC, for the "We Love DC Gala," at Constitution Hall, where Morgan danced a special solo for Mayor Pratt.
His hometown San Antonio and Margaret King Stanley, director of the San Antonio Performing Arts Association, now with Opera San Antonio, commissioned the ballet "Jamboree," for the Joffrey Ballet, in which he danced the "Lone Star Gent."
(See archives, San Antonio-Joffrey)
"After the bluish curtain rises, we see our first live cowboy, Edward Morgan, dancing exuberantly across the stage" Anna Kisselgoff New York Times
Mr. Morgan received the Alcalde from Mayor Henry Cisneros. The Alcalde is prepared for dignitaries and officials visiting the City, and names the individual honorary Mayor of La Villita
(the original San Antonio).
Also, Morgan received the Emissary to the Muses from Mayor Phil Hardberger. Emissary to the Muses certificate is prepared for top individuals in the fields of entertainment and the arts, visiting San Antonio.
Mr. Morgan exhibited a particularly fresh and innovative choreographic skill, and advanced to the position of director of the Joffrey II, where he received accolades on his unprecedented choreography.
The following information is very important, please take note!
Ollie Hazley is a friend of Edward Morgan, but Edward Morgan was the choreographer, NOT Ollie Hazley of the ballet, ''Solo de Sonata Opus 22'', which received a great review from Jack Anderson of The New York Times, "a choreographic bonbon."
Edith d'Addario, director of the Joffrey Ballet school was concerned, that the critics might become hypercritical, because Edward Morgan was making history, as a artistic director of the Joffrey second company, by choreographing so many ballets on one program.
So Ms. d'Addario had him use a different name for the choreography of his ballet. She explained to Edward, "sometimes you have to do these things to protect yourself." (See reviews in archives, "A Cue From Broadway And The Movies.")
Edward Morgan was also, the first black director in the history of the Joffrey Ballet, and the creator of the Joffrey Ballet School Jazz Program.
"Morgan set four couples kicking and gliding with
remarkable sophistication." The New York Times
Ever so versatile, Mr. Morgan became the choreographer of the internationally successful television dance show Club MTV. Morgan created over fifty original works performed on the show, and at live events including MTV Spring Break, I Want My MTV, and Macy’s MTV Spectacular.
Always a risk taker, Morgan took MTV to uncharted territory by bringing stars of the Joffrey Ballet to perform on MTV.
Therefore, in the late 80's and early 90's Morgan merged ballet with hip-hop and jazz. This was the beginning of a new style of dance that influenced choreographers in film, television, and dance videos, that is widely imitated today! (see video page, Club MTV)
“Morgan’s performance gives just the
right brilliance and intensity.”
Clive Barnes The New York Post
In Los Angeles, Mr. Morgan danced with the Joffrey Ballet at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, to critical acclaim, and was invited to perform the solo "Touch Me," on the Arsenio Hall Show in Hollywood.
(see video page)
Also, while in Hollywood Mr. Morgan choreographed for classic fine artists Marilyn McCoo, and Al Jarreau, which led him back to New York City for the opera, The Jewel Box, directed by Theodore Mann, and Carnegie Hall, for the tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim, and the Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, Mass For The 21St Century by Carmen Moore.
For several years after leaving the Joffrey company, Morgan was called upon by Gerald Arpino to perform "Touch Me," throughout the US, and Europe. Also, Morgan's image was used to create a sculpture by Caryl Picker, that was unveiled at the Heidi Neuhoff Gallery on Madison Avenue, which was later purchased for the lobby of the Vista Hotel at the World Trade Center, sadly destroyed on 9/11.
“spirited classical ballet purity”
The New York Times
Opportunity presenting itself abroad, Morgan became an Artist-In-Residence in Paris, France, where he performed at Le Bataclan, produced by Raphael Didjaman, danced a spirited solo with the International Gospel Festival, and performed at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées. His sensitive choreography, with children from Fossés-Jean Cultural Center in Colombes, to the music of Mozart, performed at UNESCO, and filmed by French Television Channel 3, and produced and directed by Joseph Alexander.
"a magical encounter took place: one does not speak French, others not American. Hundreds of spectators to the Avant-Scène could savor the moment where dancing and music are freed from the differences in language, social status, skills for prposer a small state of grace."
Municipal Councillor of Colombes, France
Edward Morgan before moving to New York City
Edward Morgan received scholarships from Leon Danielian, for the American Ballet Theatre School, and Colleen Neary, for the School Of American Ballet.
His father said, "you are my only child, you cannot go all the way to New York by yourself this soon." Morgan’s stepmother (Dean of Arts - St. Phillips College), then sought out teachers for him in Texas.
Patricia Delleney - Ballet Arts School of San Antonio.
Directors of the Manhattan Festival Ballet, Ron Sequoio, and James DeBolt were then teaching at the San Antonio Hemisphere. They privately worked with Edward, one on one for a year.
Then off to Fort Worth, Texas to study with Nancy Schaffenburg-Cross, who at age 16 was a soloist with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Then to Dallas, Texas where Edward was given a dance scholarship to El Centro College, where Arthur Mitchell of the Dance Theater of Harlem was in charge of the program. Arlin Peltier, director of the arts, and Arthur Mitchell decided Edward Morgan should go to New York to study at the Dance Theater of Harlem. Mr. Peltier paid for Edward's full scholarship to the Dance Theater of Harlem, where later he became an apprentice.
Edward Morgan was the first male dancer with the Dallas Black Dance Theater. He also taught and choreographed on the company, and in the school.
Next, the Ann Etgen and Bill Atkinson duo danced everywhere, from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada, to Broadway in “Carousel”, “My Fair Lady”, and “Brigadoon.” Edward was trained under their tutelage and later placed as soloist in their company, the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet.
Additional International Performances:
The Grand Theater - Hong Kong, China
The National Theater - Taipei, Taiwan
The Ancient Amphitheater - Greece
Hamburg Opera House - Germany
Open Air Festival Madrid - Spain
Other highlights of Mr. Morgan's career:
NewYork1's New Yorker of the Week
New York City Opera
Bexar Opera San Antonio
Gala at The Met - Diana Ross
The Bernstein Mass - San Antonio Festival
Embassy of Finland - Washington, D.C.
United Nations Fortieth Anniversary
TADA Theater - JA children's program
Tribute to Richard Englund
PBS Dance In America
French Radio Enghien IDFM98 - Ollia Horton
KRTU 91.7FM Jazz Trinity University San Antonio
KENS NEWS 5 - San Antonio
Tribute to Choreographer Louis Johnson
KONO Radio - San Antonio
Brussels Radio Dance - Arts Interview - Belgium
Grace Jones Record Release - Xenon
What The Hell Nell - Palma Pascale
Health First - Lehman College
Miss Virgin Islands Beauty Pageant - Jennifer Holliday
Dance Notation Bureau Awards
Glammy Awards - Club Life
Dance Explosion - Entertainment Company
Fol de Rol, Dudley Moore San Francisco Opera House
Musical Theatre Works
Andy Warhol 15 minutes
Studio 54 - Fashion Dance Choreographer
NJ Police Dept. Special Olympics
Tribute to Dame Margot Fonteyn & Rudolf Nureyev
Virgina School of the Arts
Actors Playhouse, Vaudeville Underground
The Ensemble Studio Theatre
The Morgan Gallery St. Phillips College