Platform 2016: An Evening with Archie Burnett: Celebrating the Legacy of Willi Ninja
Voguing icons Archie Burnett and the late Willi Ninja (1961-2006) were the original fathers of the legendary House of Ninja.
Burnett will discuss Willi’s life, movement innovations, and singular contributions to the Voguing form. He will show rare archival footage of their work – including an excerpt from Sally Sommer’s documentary Check Your Body at the Door – and will be joined by a younger generation of Ninjas who will perform an homage to Willi, including two works: East of Red and Willi’s Dream.
Part of PLATFORM 2016: Lost and Found
As we all know The ICONIC Legendary House of Ninja, was established by Old Way/New Way Legendary, Willi Leak Ninja in New York City in the late 90s. Willi founded the House of NINJA on principles of the Asian culture in which his mother raised him on. Willi Ninja displayed his technique of voguing worldwide through the award winning documentary, “Paris is Burning,” Documentary Pill Award “How Do I Look,” Madonna’s Music Video “Vogue,” and Malcolm MacLaren’s music video “Deep in Vogue.” As well as being a dancer, Willi Ninja was renowned for his presence and his ferocity in the world of fashion. He played muse and model to many variety of fashion designers such as Mugler and Gaultier, but he himself gave early lessons on the art of strutting to the likes of Naomi Campbell and Paris Hilton.
Originally the house was opened with only five members in NYC, who proposed to make a difference in the field of Vogue, Runway, Fashion, and Education in the youth dance community. With the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Legendary House of Ninja devoted itself to educating all of its members and ensure all members have an education and professional background within the dance community.
Now, with over 100 members worldwide, The Legendary House of Ninja has continued to pass on Willi’s Legacy since his passing on September 2, 2006. We have contributed in today’s worldwide vogue, fashion, runway, performances, and professional dance workshops venues such as Millennium Dance Complex in Japan, the Gay life Expo, Harlem Stage, Sybarite Productions, Dancing In the Street sponsored by Mayor Bloomberg in NYC, Walt Disney’s writer Deborah Gregory “CatWalk,” Justa DeBout in Paris, Street Dance Festival “Street Star,” and HDI – House Dance International. The House of Ninja also displayed Vogue in a sold out off broadway show “East Is Red” at BADD in the Bronx and at the Dance Theater Workshop in 2007. Recently, the Legendary House of Ninja has been inducted into the Hall of Fame
We, The Legendary House of Ninja strive to achieve excellence in all areas, within all of our members, and within the house. We walk in the shoes of those before us and we have all pledged to uphold the great legacy set. We take the name NINJA into the next generation setting as a new standard and precedence in all communities alike.