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URBAN BUSH WOMEN PERFORM ON JANUARY 24, 8PM
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS WELCOMES
URBAN BUSH WOMEN
Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 8:00 p.m.
Fairfax, Virginia, December 1, 2006— Founded in 1984 by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women is dedicated to the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. The company weaves contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of African Americans and the African Diaspora, exploring the transformation of struggle and suffering into the bittersweet joy of survival. George Mason University’s Center for the Arts welcomes Urban Bush Women back to their stage in a repertory program featuring signature works on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. An artistic discussion, free to ticketholders, begins 45-minutets prior to the curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier.
Urban Bush Women has performed extensively in New York City and has toured throughout the United States and in Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America. The Company has been commissioned by presenters nationwide, and includes among its honors a 1992 New York Dance and Performance Award (“BESSIE”); the 1994 Capezio Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance; and a 1998 Doris Duke Award for New Work from the American Dance Festival.
Urban Bush Women’s Community Engagement Projects consistently partner the ensemble with local presenters, area artists and community residents to bring the untold and under told histories of their communities forward through performance art. It is this community-focused vision that drives the aesthetic of the company.
The company’s repertory with a social conscience includes Walking with Pearl-The Southern Diaries, inspired by African American dance pioneer/social activist Pearl Primus, which premiered at the American Dance Festival on June 14, 2005. Writing in The Herald-Sun (Durham, NC), Susan Broili noted, “The premiere ends with a body shout, a rhythmic foot-stomping and body-slapping expression of undefeatable human spirit.” In the company’s outspoken Batty Moves, made by Urban Bush Women founder and artistic director Jawole
Willa Jo Zollar in 1995, Zollar uses the Caribbean word “batty”—used to describe the buttocks—with a tone that is both defiant and celebratory directly challenging the audience to question their own notions of physical attractiveness and appropriate movement. The piece features an original percussion score by Junior Wedderburn. Girlfriends was made by Zollar in 1986 as a way to honor the camaraderie and bonds of friendship shared with college girlfriends. Girlfriends captures intimate moments of joy, sorrow, encouragement and outright silliness amongst those close friends you can always depend on.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar trained with Joseph Stevenson, a student of the legendary Katherine Dunham. Zollar holds a BA in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and an MFA in dance from Florida State University. She moved to New York City in 1980 to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion. In addition to repertory for Urban Bush Women, Zollar has created works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and many others.
This performance is co-presented by George Mason University, Dance Place and the National Performance Network
THIS TOUR OF URBAN BUSH WOMEN IS MADE POSSIBLE BY A GRANT FROM MID ATLANTIC ARTS FOUNDATION IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS REGIONAL TOURING PROGRAM.
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Tickets for URBAN BUSH WOMEN, JANUARY 24, 2007 are $36, $28, $18. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa