Farewell to a Fond Friend

Ed Fogarty with wife Gail Higgins Fogarty at FBP’s Black & White Fete, May 2016. Photo by Liam Louis.

From the stage, the audience is darkness. Looking out through bright spotlights, individual spectators may not be seen, but those with exceptional passion can be felt. When Edward Fogarty was in the audience, his energy was impossible to ignore.

At the end of every performance, just as the spotlights dimmed, Ed Fogarty rose before the house lights. Curtain call was his time to shine. Ed’s unbridled enthusiasm for “his dancers” poured out of him. His wild applause erupted through the theater, punctuated by his signature “Bravo!” and a few rogue whistles.

Ed’s animated post-show appreciation was rivaled only by his excitement pre-season. He worked tirelessly as a dedicated benefactor, serving almost 30 years on the Board of Trustees, currently as the body’s Vice President. One of Ed’s most notable traits was his genuine desire to get to know every dancer. He was truly invested in the company as a collection of artists, inspiring Festival Ballet Providence’s contribution to the community throughout the years.

Ed Fogarty’s generosity of both heart and spirit will flood the halls of FBP for years to come, followed closely by the warm echo of his familiar “Bravo.”

The Company dedicates its 40th Season in  memory of our dear friend Edward Fogarty, who died August 31, 2017. In honor of his affinity for creation, FBP has established a new works fund to support the development of new choreography for the Company he so loved. For those who would like to attend, the funeral service for Edward Fogarty will be held Tuesday September 12, 2017, 10:00am at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 57 Cole Ave., Providence, RI. Visitation will be held Monday September 11, 2017, 4:00pm-8:00pm at Skeffington Funeral Home, 925 Chalkstone Ave., Providence RI. In lieu of flowers, the Fogarty family has requested that donations to Festival Ballet Providence be made in Ed’s honor.

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Jordan Nelson’s emotional return to the studio

Immediately following his release from Rhode Island Hospital on Wednesday, Jordan Nelson’s first stop was, you guessed it, Festival Ballet Providence. The hit-and-run biking accident several weeks ago may have left him with a broken clavicle and fractured skull, but it did not take away his determination to keep dancing.

Arm in a sling but eyes bright as ever, Jordan stepped into the studio for an emotional reunion. As he approached his usual position at the barre, Nelson broke into tears of joy, explaining just how much it meant to be back in the studio again.

While slowing practicing some doctor-approved pliés, Jordan opened up about his intense work to improve his physicality and technique throughout the month of June, and the hardest part of being in the hospital for eighteen days: not moving. In typical dancer fashion, Jordan is already planning his gradual return to training, one step at a time.

Jordan’s got his sights on the upcoming season, FBP’s 40th Anniversary. “There’s still so much work that we have to do, and only a few months left to prepare. I can’t believe I am able to get back to doing everything that I love with all of these dancers that I’ve been able to work so hard with this past year,” Nelson beamed, adding “we’re going to get to show audiences what we are capable of as a company, to an extent that I don’t think they’ve seen before.”

Jordan is certainly looking forward to the next few months, but in his not so distant future? “Seven Stars for a ginger biscuit, of course.” Pliés and pastries, just what the doctor ordered.

(L to R) FBP Board members Laurine Ryan Perry, Marie Weiss, Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric, Dancers Jordan Nelson, Kirsten Evans, Marissa Parmenter

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