Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
moved to New York City and became an immediate success in the dance world.
That same year, he
was chosen as Lauren Bacall's dance partner in a television special.
Faison joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1967 as a dancer and remained there through 1969.
left Ailey to begin his
own group, George Faison
Universal Dance Experience, in 1971.
Faison served as dancer and choreographer, creating original work for the company.
One of Faison's best-known works is Suite Otis (1971), set to the music of Otis Redding.
The dance is for five couples and combines elements of ballet and contemporary dance.
also created pieces with a historical and political bent, among them works inspired by the memory of Malcolm X. Poppy (1971) dealt with the problem of drug addiction.
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.
won a Tony Award for his
choreography, the first for an African American in that category.
By the mid-1970s the George Faison
Universal Dance Experience had disbanded, and Faison
was choreographing music concerts for such artists as Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire
, and Gladys Knight and the Pips in addition to his work in musical theater.
has choreographed more than thirty plays and musicals, including the short-lived 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); and Sing, Mahalia, Sing (1985) at the ShubertTheatre