In 2006-2007, Kevin Kane and a cast of twelve created Flesh and Blood in response to the monumental Keiskamma Altarpiece, then on view at UCLA. The moving hip-hop dance-theater piece told the story of a young boy living with HIV in Hamburg, South Africa, where the altarpiece was created. Kane traveled there himself to bring that reality into clearer focus.
Kane’s piece had such a strong impact that when the altarpiece left, Flesh and Blood took on a new life.
A year after its first run, it was reworked to focus on HIV/AIDS in the city of Los Angeles. What resulted was an invigorating production that forced audiences to think about stigma, personal choices, AIDS fact and fiction, and obstacles still to be tackled.
In its second phase Flesh and Blood made its way into the Los Angles Unified School District. Performance in nearly a dozen local high schools reached thousands of youth and engaged them in dialog. Kane and his collective demonstrated the artist’s vital role in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, by functioning as expert communicator. In that role, the Flesh and Blood artists not only disseminated information, but invited youth to have a deep and meaningful interaction with issues affecting their daily lives.
This project was made possible in part by support from the Flourish Foundation and the Ford Foundation.