Features

OutFront: March 2008

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Jason Black and the Fusion Drop-In Center. Dominic Walsh Dance Theater.  

BEING AWARE MEANS STAYING ALIVE

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Jason Black

Jason Black, the prevention intervention specialist for the Fusion Drop-In Center, knows that Houston’s African Americans are disproportionately impacted by HIV and AIDS. Local statistics mirror a national trend that indicates African Americans account for 54 percent of all people infected with HIV in the United States. • Black also knows that knowledge equals power for African-American men who have sex with men. • On February 7, Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Black and the staff at Fusion are “putting all our efforts” into a free, all-day HIV testing event at Sharpstown Mall, targeting this at-risk population. • “We encourage all those 18-24-year-old African-American males to come out and get tested,” Black says. • Fusion, which operates a facility in Montrose, is a project of the St. Hope Foundation, the HIV/AIDS service provider that targets the African-American and Latino communities. Details: 713/778-1300 • www.offeringhope.org.

Photographed by John Conroy

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THE DANCE GOES ON

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Dominic Walsh (l) and Domenico Luciano

George Balanchine, the great choreographer, once said, “I don’t want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance.” • It’s apparent that Dominic Walsh has to dance. • A former principal with Houston Ballet, Walsh founded his Dominic Walsh Dance Theater five years ago. This month, Walsh and company commemorate the anniversary with a mixed-repertory program, Celebrating Moving Bodies — Moving Minds . • For the event, Walsh, pictured here (on the left) in rehearsal with company member Domenico Luciano, has created Amadeus, a new piece set to the music of Mozart. “This is the second installment of my humble tribute to some of my favorite works by Mozart,” Walsh says. “For years, I have found so much of his music both humorous and poignantly touching, and even sometimes intriguingly irreverent.” The world premiere is one of the dances that will be part of the February 7–9 performance at the Hobby Center Zilkha Hall (tickets: www.dwdt.org, 713/315-2525).

Photographed by Mark Hiebert

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