“Soar”: An Interpretation of Michael Richards: Are You Down? by FLEE Dance/Frankie Lee III
In “Soar,” FLEE Dance choreographer Frankie Lee III shares the stories and experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen through dance and film. The airmen were significant points of reference for Michael Richards’s artwork, especially their individual and collective triumphs in the face of segregation in the United States. This tribute celebrates the perseverance of these courageous men and hopes to inspire the audience to moments of reflection, remembrance, unity, and love. The performance is followed by a talkback with the choreographer.
About the Tuskegee Airmen
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first Black military aviators in the US Army Air Corps (AAC), a precursor of the US Air Force. Trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama, they flew more than 15,000 individual sorties in Europe and North Africa during World War II. Their impressive performance earned them more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses and helped encourage the eventual integration of the US armed forces.
About Frankie Lee III
Frankie Lee III is the founder and artistic director of FLEE DANCE, a two-time Isadora Duncan Award nominee, Webby Award winner, and the 2022 Artist of Excellence Prism Award winner. He grew up in Raleigh and attended the American Dance Festival in high school, which led to his first site-specific performance at the NCMA in 2010. He has danced for the Justice Theater Project, Zaccho Dance Theater, Oakland Ballet, dawsondancesf, Helen Simoneau Danse, Antonio Brown Dance, Gaspard and Dancers, Zest Collective, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
Photo: Kent Barker