Former contributor, Roger Lee shares why he’s starting a multi-disciplinary arts training center for youth in Philadelphia, how he’s marketing it, and how he’s balancing it with the direction of his dance company.
In honor of Black History Month Roger looks to a future with more African-American donors, board members, staff members — more diverse dance organizations as a whole. Dance has been a major part of the African-American culture since the beginning, but how can dance producers and presenters take a step toward this future and build black audiences?
In the 1920s, wings were all the rage, and many variations existed. The Pump, the Pendulum, the Saw, the Double Back… like time steps, most dancers had a signature wing variation. But there was one variation in particular that caught the public’s attention, and it was the 5-count wing, created by Frank Condos.
Brian’s photography has been published on Dance Advantage, in most dance periodicals, as well as in the book, When Men Dance: Choreographing Masculinities Across Borders. Currently, he is working on a blog, Barre Boys, which spotlights men in ballet, and will produce accompanying live events featuring all male performers. Married with two children, Dominic, 9 and Michela, 7, Brian is a firm believer of giving back and giving voice and opportunity to those who don’t have one. I had a chat with Brian about another new and growing project he has in the works, Hope Dances, an initiative that aims to bring the benefits of dance to kids with special needs.
Brian Mengini has been involved with the dance world for over 8 years, first as company management and now as a photographer. He is based in Philadelphia, PA and has shot the Royal Ballet of London, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet X and many others. His recent project Spirit of the Fallen, pays tribute to the fallen officers of the Philadelphia Police Department. The photo exhibition, which depicts dancers from the Philly area wearing angel wings, also raises funds for the FOP Survivor’s Fund.