Urban Bush Women


January 26, 2014 to February 8, 2014

explore the cultural influences of the African Diaspora and women's experiences.

Urban Bush Women (UBW) is a Brooklyn, New York-based non-profit dance company that was founded in 1984 by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. It is an ensemble of seven women who perform very diverse pieces choreographed by Jawole as well as many other reputable choreographers. The UBW performances are dedicated to exploring the cultural influences of the African Diaspora and are very strong works based on women's experiences.

The Dance Program was honored to have members of the Urban Bush Women dance company participate in a two-week residency from January 26 to February 8. Founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Paloma McGregor and Bennalldra Williams conducted two masterclasses for Duke Dance majors and minors in the Ark. They also invited students from Durham's Hillside High School to two Dance for Every Body workshops. Jawole was a guest artist in the dance composition class, Beyond Technique: Art of Performance, taught by Barbara Dickinson and Tyler Walters. She also participated in the "Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance conference, attending two panels, "African Diaspora Dance: Recentering Africanist Aesthetics" and "The Future of Black Dance" with Mark Anthony Neal. She was also a guest on "The State of Things" radio program with Prof. Thomas F. DeFrantz, which can be heard at this link. http://wunc.org/post/duke-conference-dances-across-african-diaspora.

This residency was coordinated by Duke Performances and funded, in part, with a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council; a Visiting Artist Grant from the Council for the Arts, Office of the Provost, Duke University; a grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; and support from the Dance Program at Duke University.