Urban Bush Women

Since its founding in 1984, UBW has been presented extensively in New York City and has toured throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. Festival appearances include Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, BAM Next Wave Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, Spoleto USA, National Black Arts Festival and Dance Umbrella UK. The Company has been commissioned by presenters nationwide and is highly sought after for its choreography and residencies.

Honors Include:                              

The U.S. Department of State selected UBW to inaugurate its dance cultural exchange program, DanceMotion USA, administered by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in 2010.

The National Endowment of the Arts recognizes Walking with Pearl...Southern Diaries as an American Masterpiece in 2006.

 The American Dance Festival recognizes UBW with its Doris Duke Award for New Work in 2004 and in 1998. 

Capezio honored Urban Bush Women with an Outstanding Achievement in Dance award in 1994.

Urban Bush Women was selected to receive a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) in 2006 and 1992.

International Exchange | June 15 – 30, 2007 and January 6 – 12, 2008

Les écailles de la mémoire (The Scales of memory)


Reknowned choreographers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Germaine Acogny explored how best to represent the beauty and vastness of nature, explore the complexities of love, and highlight the visceral link between African-Americans and West Africans in their first full length collaborative venture. True to both choreographers’ methodologies, the research focused on taking the gender differences into account and delving in to the chasms and similarities between the movement of dancers living in a Muslim country and one comprised mostly of Christians. Their first residency together in the deep south was spent meeting with African American history scholars, visiting Black Archives, museums, and plantations, all which influenced their time together in the studio and honed the focus of the new work on memory, love and resistance.  

During their second residency, they finalized lighting and production components in the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre. They also shared a preview performance for the local Tallahassee community as a fundraiser for the MANCC Student Scholarship Fund.

Les écailles de la mémoire (The Scales of memory) premiered January 17, 2008 at the University of Florida Performing Arts.

Collaborators in Residence: Jawole Willa Jo Zollar [Artistic Director, UBW], Germaine Acogny [Artistic Director, JANT-BI], Helmut Vogt [Administrative Director, JANT-BI], Naoko Nagata [costumer], Antoine Tempé [photographer], Nora Chipaumire, Bennalldra Williams, Marjani Forte, Christine King, Love Muwwakkil, Lela Jones, Paloma McGregor, Catherine Denecy [UBW dancers]; Babacar Ba, Cire Beye, Mohammed Abdoulaye, Kane, Ousame Ndiaye, Tchebe Bertrand Saky, Assane Abib Sow, Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye Kaolack [ JANT-BI dancers]

Performance and Creative Residency | March 4 – March 14, 2005

Walking with Pearl: Southern Diaries

Zollar and company were in residence during the Congress on Research in Dance: Special Topics conference at FSU. The research focus was to develop new material for the second part of a dance inspired by African American dance pioneer/social activist Pearl Primus, entitled Walking with Pearl: Southern Diaries. This work invokes the lives of rural African Americans in the South in the 30's and 40's -- sharecroppers, church folk, strong women who live by their faith and their wit. Zollar opened up rehearsals and the choreographic process to the community. In addition, the performers engaged with local students and offered a performance of the work-in-progress. 

Collaborators in Residence: Maria Bauman, Christal Brown, Nora Chipaumire, Nia Eubanks, Chanon Judson, Christine King, Rhea Patterson, Amara Tabor-Smith

World Premiere

Lin Hixson and
Matthew Goulish

The Three Matadores
March 11 & 12

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