NAME: Burge, Gregg

BIRTH DATE/LOCATION:
c. 1958, Merrick, Long Island, New York

DEATH DATE/LOCATION:
4 July 1998, Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, 39 or 40 years of age (contradictory information provided by print sources)

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Photo: Gregg Burge in A Chorus Line. Photo courtesy of the Academy of Dance on Film.

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  • identification & bio
  • key contact
  • human repositories
  • video documentation
  • photographic documentation
  • movement notation
  • production materials
  • oral history
  • personal papers
  • immediate needs
  • other relevant information
  • overview of works
  • bibliography
  • back to introduction
  • back to index of choreographers


  • IDENTIFICATION AND BIO:
    Gregg Burge was a tap dancer and choreographer. His credits ranged from television's The Electric Company to the film version of A Chorus Line (1985)—for which he served as assistant to choreographer Jeffrey Hornaday and performed the role of Richie, as he had on Broadway. A tap dancer from the age of 7, Burge won a scholarship to study at the Juilliard School when he was 17. He was nominated for two Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, won the Fred Astaire Award twice, and also received honors for his Broadway performances in Song and Dance and Oh Kay! He performed as the scarecrow for four years in the Broadway production of The Wiz. He was also active in the music video industry, choreographing Michael Jackson's Bad video with Jeffrey Daniels and another video for the reggae band Steel Pulse. In addition, he ran a dance studio on Long Island. Officially Burge's cause of death was complications from a brain tumor, but in the dance community it is widely believed Burge died of AIDS complications. The true cause of death is not known.

    KEY CONTACT PERSON(S)/EXECUTOR OF ESTATE:
    Burge was survived by his parents, Thelma and Fred Burge, and his brothers, Frederick and Christopher.

    HUMAN REPOSITORIES OF THE WORK
    (name and contact info, relationship to the artist and the work, assessment):

    George Faison, choreographer of The Wiz

    Stephanie Mills, friend and fellow dancer

    VIDEO DOCUMENTATION
    (location, format, condition, assessment):

    A Chorus Line (1985)—film version widely available

    Bad (1983)—music video for Michael Jackson widely available

    The family holds video documentation of television programs, political events, many taped on the home VCR, as well as professional videotapes. These are saved in an armoire at home.

    PHOTOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTATION
    (location, format, condition, assessment):

    His family holds photographs and awards, displayed in the family home and stored in boxes. In addition, the following photographs are held at the Academy of Dance on Film, Los Angeles:

    One 8 x 10 of Burge singing "Surprise, Surprise" with other cast members from the film A Chorus Line (1985).

    One 8 x 10 of Burge performing "Fascinating Rhythm" on Sylvia Fine Kaye's Musical Comedy Tonight III, "Great Performances" (PBS November 22, 1985).

    MOVEMENT NOTATION
    (location, type [including notes taken by dancers], assessment):

    None identified.

    PRODUCTION MATERIALS
    (scores, sound recordings, set/costume designs):

    Music charts are held by the family.

    ORAL HISTORY:
    None identified.

    PERSONAL PAPERS
    (location of newspaper clippings, printed programs, press releases, notes, files, diaries; assessment):

    The family holds personal papers. No diaries or notes have been discovered as yet. In addition, a clippings file (dancer category) is available at the Academy of Dance on Film, Los Angeles.

    IMMEDIATE NEEDS
    (archival assistance? storage? other?):

    Assistance to the family in donating materials to a library or archive.

    OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION:
    The family is interested in donating documentation of Burge's work to the New York Public Library. Also, the family is setting up a website.

    LIST OR OVERVIEW OF WORKS
    (title, premiere date, music, production notes, performers):

    In addition to his television, stage, and film appearances, Burge is listed by Larry Billman as having choreographed the following works:

    One Mo' Time (n.d.)—off-Broadway.

    Song and Dance (1985)—Broadway, tap choreography.

    A Chorus Line (1985)—assistant to Jeffrey Hornaday, with Troy Garza, Brad Jeffries, Helene Phillips, and Vickie Regan (also appeared).

    Bad (1983)—Michael Jackson video, choreographed with Jeffrey Daniels and Michael Jackson (also appeared).

    Conrack (1992)—Goodspeed Opera House.

    Barcelona Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony (1992)—televised (also appeared).

    Hoops (1993)—touring production (also appeared).

    Abyssina (1995)—North Shore Music Theatre, Massachusetts.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY:

    • Billman, Larry. 1997. Film Choreographers and Dance Directors: An Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia, with a History and Filmographies, 1893 through 1995. Jefferson, N.Carolina: McFarland & Company. 249.
    • Dance Magazine. 1998. "Obituaries: Gregg Burge" (November): 84.
    • Grubb, Kern. 1985. "Body Electric: Broadway's Changing Gregg Burge." Dance Magazine (July): 56.
    • Los Angeles Times. 1998. "Obituaries: Gregg Burge" ( 26 August).
     
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