Dancing for Life, a Chicago Choreographer is Honored
Monday, January 28, 2013
A video of the 2008 Dance for Life finale, choreographed by Randy Duncan.
Before Randy Duncan found the world’s stage, he got down in the living room.
Growing up in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago in the 1960s and ‘70s, Duncan would dance with his sister in front of the television, trying to emulate the R&B moves on Big Bill Hill’s Chicago show “Red Hot and Blues” and the funky rhythms of “Soul Train.”
“I always knew that I wanted to perform in front of audiences,” said Duncan (at right).
It would be an egregious understatement to say that he achieved that goal. Duncan, now 54, is a nationally renowned choreographer who has inspired countless audiences with his stunning designs of human movement. He has been lauded with numerous awards; his work has been performed by dance companies all over the world. And every year, beginning in 1994, Duncan has choreographed the finale for Dance for Life, Chicago’s annual dance performance raising money for HIV/AIDS programs.
AIDS walked into Robert Neubert's life almost 30 years ago.
It was the mid-1980s and Neubert was the musical director for a traveling musical theatre tour. His good friend Paul, an actor in the company, was sick and needed further medical attention beyond what was available during a stop in Rockton, Ill. Doctors there were unable to help him and suggested he return home to seek an HIV specialist, Neubert said. In just over a year, he was dead of AIDS-related causes.
“That was the moment for me,” said Neubert, 58, director of catering sales at the Hilton Chicago. “I knew then that we were all on the road to something very unpleasant.”
Neubert would find a way to pay tribute. For the past decade, he has served on the board of directors for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). In those years, he has helped raise countless dollars through the production of events and charitable giving. In doing so, he has strengthened efforts to end the AIDS epidemic and to help HIV-positive Chicagoans live with integrity.
At AFC’s 2013 Annual Dinner on April 18 at the Hilton Chicago, Neubert will be honored with the Lori Kaufman Volunteer Award.
The shocking truth is we don’t know much about the safety of sexual lubricants and whether or not they may actually contribute to the spread of HIV.
We know that using condoms with condom-compatible lube is an important HIV prevention intervention. But more than 30 years into the HIV pandemic, we don’t know whether sexual lubricants (lubes) increase, decrease or have no impact on the risk of acquiring HIV and STIs.
In fact, it is only quite recently that most advocates, HIV prevention workers, researchers and policy makers have even realized that we don’t know the answer to this fundamental question.
Do you ever feel there are critical advances in HIV/AIDS prevention that aren't being properly covered in the mainstream media? Or that there are complex HIV/AIDS-related healthcare and funding issues not being clearly explained? Or that there are powerful HIV/AIDS stories here in Chicago just waiting for someone to tell them? We feel that way, too!
At the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), we’re committed to changing the story of HIV/AIDS. Inside Story aims to take you inside that story, to give you an intimate look at how AFC, and other Chicago and national organizations, are fighting HIV/AIDS through medical, housing and support services; cutting-edge research into prevention and treatment methods; and advocacy for stronger HIV-AIDS public policy from legislators.