What are the issues facing Black artists in the dance world? Have they changed over the decades? Join our Artists Talks as we hear from choreographers, dancers, and artistic directors as they discuss the obstacles faced and successes achieved through their personal stories. Free with a suggested donation of $10
JUNE 13 @ 7PM EST
CHAMPIONS OF BLACKS IN DANCE
presented in collaboration with Steps Supporting Black Artists
BRIAN HARLAN BROOKS
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in Teaneck, NJ, Mr. Brooks received his dance training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre, and studied acting at William Esper Studios. He has danced with Forces of Nature, Philadanco, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, Deeply Rooted Chicago Dance Theater, Donald Byrd/The Group, Williams/Henry Dance Theatre, Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance.
Theater credits include Vinnette Carol’s Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, Oprah Winfrey presents The Color Purple (first national tour), One Third a Nation; TV/Film: Across the Universe, Lifted (Fox Searchlight), “Boardwalk Empire”, “Tormenting the Hen”. He was the rehearsal director for Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Donald Byrd/The Group, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (interim on tour). Mr. Brooks teaches as a guest artist at multiple schools, colleges, and universities and is the Site Director at Ailey Camp, Missouri. Directing credits include Associate Artistic Director at Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance, Director of While I Have the Floor, Stage director for Jesus Christ Superstar promotional video, Co-director of One Harlem Night. Choreographic credits: Associate Choreographer for Motown the Musical (Broadway and all U.S. and U.K. tours and productions, choreographer re-stager for the U.K. tour), Associate Choreographer on Born for This, Choreographer of First Noel at the Apollo.
JOAN MYERS BROWN
Ms. Brown is an artist, a visionary, and an entrepreneur. In 1970 she founded the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts in 1960. In addition to her own companies, she serves as honorary chairperson for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, an organization she established in 1991, which received a Bessie in 2000.
She is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts, which bestowed upon her an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts. Ms. Brown was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Ursinus College, an honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a member of the dance faculty at Howard University. She has made significant contributions to many regional, national, and international arts communities including NEFA’s National Dance Project, the United States Information Agency, Arts America, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Councils of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio and the National Forum for Female Executives. Locally, she has been a part of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Minority Arts Resource Council, the Philadelphia Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council, the Philadelphia Dance Alliance, The Woman’s Heritage Society, the Coalition of African American Cultural Organizations, Dance USA/Philadelphia and many other organizations.
Ms. Brown’s expertise and counsel have been sought by numerous organizations, including the Rockefeller Foundation’s Arts & Humanities Program. She served as a trustee of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation and the Media Performing Arts Center. Ms. Brown was a member of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Arts & Business Council, World Dance Alliance Americas, University City Board of Directors, Dance/USA and other non-profit organizations.
She facilitated the Smithsonian Institution’s Conference of Black Dance Companies and served as a consultant to the East Coast Committee of Festival 2000, the San Francisco Bay Area Cultural Initiative, the NEA “Dance on Tour” ad hoc committee and the Kennedy Center Adult Education Task Force. Among Ms. Brown’s many honors was the “Dance Women; Living Legends Award”, during a four-day series sponsored by New York area presenters, in tribute to five African-American pioneer women who founded distinguished modern dance companies with deep roots in black communities around the country. She was also honored by the Kennedy Center for African American Choreographers, received the prestigious Philadelphia Award, Dance/USA’s Honor Award. Deemed a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. In 2010, The City of Harrisburg declared November 7th as “Joan Myers Brown Living Legacy Day”.
Her undisputed status as a leader in the national and international arts communities was acknowledged when she was selected to receive the 2012 National Medal of the Arts, the nation’s highest civic honor for excellence in the arts. President Barack Obama presented the prestigious honor at a ceremony that took place in July 2013 at the White House. President Obama cited Ms. Brown “for carving out an artistic haven for African American dancers and choreographers to innovate, create, and share their unique visions with the national and global dance communities”. Most recently she received several additional awards including the Councilman David Cohen Award from The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, The Philadelphia Icon Award, and Profile in Excellence Innovation Lifetime Award. The success of her seemingly unending energy has been appreciated and recognized by the numerous requests for her keen input from such notable organizations as Pennsylvania State Council of the Arts, Ohio State Arts Council, New Jersey State Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, National Association for Female Executives, Port of History Museum (Ad Hoc Committee), Media Associates (Washington, DC), Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Wade Communications, Spruce Family Planning, Minority Arts Resource Council, West Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council, Advisory Panel for NEA, Expansion Arts Program, Executive Council of the Philadelphia Dance Alliance, Arts Administration for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Women’s Heritage Society, Painted Bride, Dance/USA, and the Philadelphia Arts Alliance. Her legacy has been documented in the 2011 publication of Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Bio-history of American Performance (Palgrave).
Ms. Brown’s efforts on behalf of dance excellence belie a much larger contribution to the arts and the community. She remains a tireless advocate and spokesperson and is a model of tenacity, hope, and discipline.
F.A.C.E. Coach and Choreographer Robin Dunn is the former Director of Amateur Night at the world-famous Apollo Theater. As a F.A.C.E. Coach, Robin specializes in self-discovery, performance technique and movement. Her client list includes Saturday Night Live, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, Missy Elliot, Teen Vogue featuring Jive recording artist ‘Chris Brown,’ Tony award winner, Heather Headley, The Braxtons featuring ‘Jay Z,’ Brian McKnight, Sean Kingston, and Disney’s Raven Symone.
She also worked for the management team of the iconic rock band U2 and is the creator and Executive Producer of the awards shows “Ladies Get Down (A Salute to Women in Hip Hop & more …) and Fellas Git Dap (A Salute to Men in Hip Hop and more…)”.
Ms. Dunn has been a faculty member of the Ailey organization for over a decade and teaches Hip Hop at Steps on Broadway. She is a former adjunct professor at Hunter College and was a guest master teacher at NYU, Syracuse University, Harlem School of the Arts, Earl Mosely Institute of the Arts, Young Audiences New York, Ron Brown’s Evidence Summer Intensive, Complexions Winter Intensive, Fashion Institute of Technology, Long Island University/ Honors class, Project Dance and Connecticut Ballet in Stamford, CT. She and her sisters, Desiree Crichlow and Greta Dunn were the first to introduce the art of Hip Hop dance to the mainstream studio at New York’s Broadway Dance Center. Robin was the first to teach and introduce Hip Hop at The Ailey School.
She continues to offer specialized Robin Dunn’s F.A.C.E. workshops including self-discovery, performance technique and movement for artists and individuals in addition to offering motivational/guest speaking for a wide range of events.
Ms. Dunn believes “a teacher’s job is to shape lives, build dreams and give hope for the future.” – author, unknown
FREDERICK EARL MOSLEY
Fredrick Earl Mosley is Founder/Director of Diversity of Dance Inc., including programs such as Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts (EMIA), Hearts of Men, and Dancing Beyond. A part of EMDOD’s mission is not only to educate and entertain but also to use dance to enhance and enrich lives, even in the most adverse circumstances.
EMIA, a four-week annual residential summer intensive began in 2006, is held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island. Hearts of Men uses dance to empower and cultivate a positive environment where men of all ages can bond in a community of brotherly love. Mr. Mosley has applied his philosophy of “giving back” in the creation of a winter program called Earl Mosley’s Dancing Beyond, A benefit for Dance Against Cancer. Following EMIA 2020 ONLINE’s outstanding summer, Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance presented EMIA FALL 2020 ONLINE, which offered10 weeks of classes for dancers during these struggling and virtual times. In 2021 EMDOD also established the Dance Is Activism Film Festival in response to the push for change in our social, racial, gender inequitable built-in systems that target mostly black and brown citizens. The festival gave a platform for dancers, choreographers and filmmakers to come together and express their art and voices of activism to stand up, speak out and make change. EMIA 2021 In person nonresidential program will take place in NYC, June 21- july3. Mr. Mosley believes in diversity, not only in art, but also the life experiences that each dancer brings to the process of creating dance that entertains, educates and heals the human spirit. For more information please visit diversityofdance.org