Unlike any other choreographer, Edward Morgan manages to exhibit versatility, originality, and accessibility while maintaining integrity and commitment to his high level of artistry.
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 Presidents Reagan and Bush, at The 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).San Antonio City Councilman Walter Martinez and State Representative Lou Nelle Sutton honored Morgan, recognizing him as an alcalde, and the Edward Morgan Scholarship Fund was created for Sam Houston High School by Louis Fields.
Morgan also received the Emissary to the Muses from Mayor Phil Hardberger. Emissary to the Muses certificate is prepared for top individuals visiting San Antonio in the fields of entertainment and the arts. Morgan was also invited to choreograph The San Antonio Festival’s Bernstein Mass and The San Antonio Symphony’s tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. – Symphony In Black.
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 an 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.”
Edward Morgan was 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. Edward Morgan was the creator of the Club MTV Fashion Dancers.
Always a risk taker, Morgan took MTV to uncharted territory by bringing stars of the original New York City Joffrey Ballet to perform on MTV, now making history again, the first choreographer to bring ballet to 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. Also while in Hollywood Mr. Morgan choreographed for classic fine artists Marilyn McCoo and Al Jarreau, and was frequently a choreographer on the famed television show Star Search 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 Carman Moore. (see video page)
Even after leaving the Joffrey Ballet for several years Gerald Arpino called upon Morgan to perform Touch Me throughout the US and Europe. Because of his continued outstanding performances, he was given the ballet Touch Me to perform at anytime he wanted, and his image was used to create a sculpture by Caryl Picker, that was unveiled at the Heidi Neuhoff Gallery on Madison Avenue, later purchased for the lobby of the Vista Hotel at the World Trade Center which was 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, and produced and directed by Joseph Alexander. (see video page)
“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.” Patrick Chaimovitch, Municipal Councillor of Colombes, France
Marie Artesi, director of the Cultural Affairs Community Arts in New York City was inspired by Edward Morgan. This sent the company dancing throughout the boroughs of New York City and commissioned a program for the underserved Bronx youth, which was chosen as NY1’s New Yorker of the Week.
From 1994 to 2010, Edward Morgan an ICON in the New York City Gay Pride Parade, lead the march down 5th Avenue, high stepping, and tossing his baton 5 stories high! Edward Morgan was the first choreographer to bring dance to the AIDS-Dance-A-Thon, and brought the Joffrey Ballet School Dancers together with principals from American Ballet Theatre to perform for the Stonewall 25th Anniversary Celebration for Human Rights with guest speaker Bea Arthur.
In 2014 through 2018 Alexander created Ballet For The Homeless in which Morgan choreographed singers, actors, and dancers to raise money for The Church of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. (see video page, Ballet For The Homeless)
Edward Morgan before moving to New York CityEdward 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. Phillip’s 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 Theatre of Harlem was in charge of the program. Arlin Peltier director of the arts, and Mitchell both decided Morgan should go to New York to study at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Mr. Peltier paid for Edward’s full scholarship to the Dance Theatre of Harlem, where later he became an apprentice.
Morgan was selected by famed choreographer Graciela Daniele to perform in the New York City Opera’s rendition of Naughty Marietta at Lincoln Center.
Edward Morgan was the first male dancer with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. 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.
While in Dallas Edward Morgan was also coached privately by Nathalie Krassovska, former ballerina with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Morgan was a member of the ROTC, and won 2 gold medals and a silver in the Texas Dance Contest at the capitol in Austin. He was also in his high school theater ensemble and won numerous awards, and later became director of the theater ensemble, and also played piano and flute.
Morgan has an Associate’s Degree from El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, and taught ballet at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center under the direction of Denise Jefferson.
Additional International Performances:
- The Grand Theatre – Hong Kong, China
- The National Theatre – Taipei, Taiwan
- StarsAmericanBallet SeoulOperaHouseKorea
- The Ancient Amphitheatre – Greece
- Hamburg Opera House – Germany
- Open Air Festival Madrid – Spain
- Bexar Opera San Antonio
- Gala at The Met – Diana Ross
- 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
- Aids Dance-A-Thon
- Grace Jones Record Release – Xenon
- VegFest NYC
- Miss Virgin Islands Beauty Pageant – Jennifer Holliday
- The Morgan Gallery St. Phillip’s College
- Tribute to Dame Margot Fonteyn & Rudolf Nureyev
- Virginia School of the Arts
- Suzy Chapstick
- Brenda K. Starr
- Cissy Houston
- Dance Notation Bureau Awards
- Glammy Awards – Club Life
- Dance Explosion – Entertainment Company
- Jacob’s Pillow
- Fol de Rol, Dudley Moore San Francisco Opera House
- Musical Theatre Works
- Andy Warhol 15 Minutes
- Rainbow Room – MTV
- New York University
- Studio 54 – Fashion Dance Choreographer
- NJ Police Dept. Special Olympics
- Actors’ Playhouse, Vaudeville Underground
- The Ensemble Studio Theatre
- Health First – Lehman College
Joffrey Ballet Repertory
- Twyla Tharp – Deuce Coupe
- Paul Taylor – Cloven Kingdom
- Agnes De Mille – Rodeo
- Sir Frederick Ashton – Illuminations
- Antony Tudor – Offenbach
- Jiří Kylián – Dream Dances
- John Cranko – Romeo & Juliet
- Eugene Loring – Billy The Kid
- Michel Fokine – Petrushka
- Vaslav Nijinsky – Le Sacre du printemps
- Ruthanna Boris – Cakewalk
- Laura Dean – Night
- Gerald Arpino’s
- Touch Me
- Light Rain
“With all original choreography by Morgan, the evening was a multiple treat served up with both panache and disciplined refinement..” -San Antonio Express News
“lead by the gracious Mr. Alexander, a virtuoso turner”
-The New York Times
Joseph Alexander has been a student, dancer, teacher, ballet master, and now director of TheEdwardMorganBallet.
He was born in Stockton, California where he began his early dance training at age 3, at the school of Cheryl Fosgate, and then at age 12 at Ballet San Joaquin. Then for a year and a half he studied at the original Joffrey Ballet School, where he met Edward Morgan, who selected him for The Stars of The American Ballet Tour, with the Joffrey Concert Dancers. After the tour, Alexander went onto dance with Milwaukee Ballet, and The National Ballet of Canada. Alexander was not feeling artistically fulfilled with these companies. Then he heard Edward Morgan was starting a new ballet company.
Mr. Morgan, because of his belief in how ballet should be today, told Alexander if he wanted to dance with his company, he would have to retrain. Alexander agreed and started one-on-one classes with Morgan.
Alexander then became an apprentice, then moved to soloist in 2002. While a soloist Alexander began to train under Morgan to become a ballet teacher. While teaching students at TheEdwardMorganBallet he also traveled, giving master classes with the Morgan syllabus, in Gulf Port, Mississippi, Stockton, California, Detroit, Michigan, and San Antonio, Texas. Also teaching abroad in Charleroi and Brussels, Belgium, and Paris, France. At this time, he proved himself in Edward Morgan’s hometown, and was appointed ballet master. In 2008 after the exit of Daniel Scott, and with the knowledge of Alexander’s business skills and ability to produce media events, Edward Morgan had no choice but to stamp him the director of TheEdwardMorganBallet.
Now working alongside Mr. Morgan, Alexander brings with him his own ideas and a fresh approach to art, from a theatrical performer’s perspective. From stage to television, he creates unique performances mixing media, fine art, music, dance, film, fashion, and roller skating.
Alexander has created a new dance form. RollerSlay, combining ballet and club dancing on roller skates. Not only has Mr. Alexander been a staple in the New York skate scene, he has appeared at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Hunter College, and has been photographed in The New York Times and in a new book called SEPT. 2020 NYC. Alexander has been seen abroad in Paris, Belgium, Berlin, and photographs of his roller skating have made it all the way to the SO1 Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. Alexander has made television appearances on ABC, PIX 11, and in Belgium on BE NY. Alexander has performed in the North Charleston Arts Fest, Landing On Planet Odds in the Miami Design District, Buro 79 Outdoor Gallery in Wynwood, and a special film with Graffiti Artist ZeFlorist in Miami, Florida. Alexander is creating a theatrical presentation for the fall of 2021 where skating will take you to another dimension!
At the moment, he is filming a documentary, The Life of Edward Morgan, and producing The Edith Piaf 100th Anniversary Project. (see Edith Piaf video)
Other projects Mr. Alexander has produced: Mass For The Ballet, Church of the Holy Apostles, The New York Children’s Museum Of Art, The Bronx Museum, The Morgan Gallery, St. Phillip’s College, San Antonio, Texas, and The Museum Mile New York City.
Within the last three years, Joseph Alexander has been working to come up with a new score for the Nutcracker. Inspired by Morgan’s Nutcracker pas de deux. Alexander has always been pushing Morgan to do a new Nutcracker, which will be delighting audiences soon!