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Poetic Lenz, Volume 2 ©2018

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Poetic Lenz – A Storyteller's Bi-Annual for Photographers and Writers, Volume 2 ©2018

"Every generation is confronted with circumstances that encourage them to reach back to the past and grab hold of a strength that helps push through current conditions. We don't often have words or the language to articulate why we choose to express ourselves the way we do and through dance it may not be necessary. And now as we've become more adept at chronicling our own experiences, whether through film, or paintings, or a mix of mediums like [photography]...ways of creating opportunities for dialogue and understanding are opening."

–Holly Tomlin, Poetic Lenz, Art and Dance ©2018. 

The theme of Poetic Lenz, volume 2 is "Art and Dance". Art is often perceived as inaccessible to the masses and the dance arts conjure images of specific dance forms. In Poetic Lenz, volume 2 we bring unique interpretations of the visual arts to you in a collection of personal stories and photos essays from Hernease Davis, fine arts photographer; Carlotta Summers, filmmaker and dancer; Brooke Terry, modern dancer; and Holly Tomlin, photographer-writer, who shares a photo essay on break dancing from the B-Boy Royale IV and her experiences documenting the signature performance, "The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence" by Step Afrika! 

Step Afrika! is the first professional dance company dedicated to "stepping". Stepping comes from a long-standing tradition of percussive body movements that involve clapping hands, stomping feet, and precision drills frequently accompanied by singing, spoken word, or "call-outs". [It] is the physical expression of allegiance to one's fraternity or sorority and, above all is a showcase of unity, community, dedication, and commitment.

"The Migration" production is a culmination of the company's repertoire that includes South African gumboot dance, jazz, tap, modern dance, and, of course, stepping against the backdrop of The Migration Series painted by Jacob Lawrence. As such the performance is documented from the photographer's point of view (Part 1), which includes an overview of stepping as a significant cultural contribution and the interplay with Lawrence's iconic series (Part 2); an interview with the choreographer, Jakari Sherman, who successfully merges history, Lawrence's art, and dance (Part 3); and concludes with a brief narrative on the significance of it all with the artistic director, Mfoniso Akpan (Part 4).

We hope this volume will inspire photographers, writers, artists, and dancers alike to look to history and their communities to exchange cultural experiences in unique ways that create more opportunities for dialogue and understanding.

A percentage of proceeds from Poetic Lenz, volume 2 will be donated to organizations or causes that foster a commitment to arts education. Read about our summer fundraising campaigns on the "About Us" tab under "Community Service".