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Fri, 05.18.1984

The Urban Bush Women (Dance Company) Begins

*The founding of the Urban Bush Women (UBW) is celebrated on this date in 1984.

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is the founder of Brooklyn, New York, a non-profit dance company and the only professional African American women's dance company. The ensemble performs choreography by Zollar and other choreographers, often focusing on the experiences of women of African descent. 

The company has been commissioned by presenters nationwide and globally. UBW includes a New York Dance and Performance Award ("Bessie"), the Capezio Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, and two 2004 Doris Duke Awards for New Work from the American Dance Festival. In March 2010, UBW toured South America as part of Dance Motion USA, a cultural diplomacy initiative spearheaded by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

UBW has performed in New York City and throughout the United States, Asia, Australia, Canada, Germany, South America, Europe, and Senegal (in collaboration with Germaine Acogny and her all-male Compagnie JANT-BI).  Performances in the USA include Jacob's Pillow, Spoleto USA, National Black Arts Festival, Dance Umbrella UK, and Lincoln Center. The company's repertory consists of 33 works choreographed by Zollar, including ambitious collaborations with jazz artist David Murray; poets Laurie Carlos and Carl Hancock Rux; directors Steve Kent and Elizabeth Herron; and the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique (supported by The Ford Foundation's Africa Exchange Program).

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Never love with all your heart, it only ends in aching; And bit by bit to the smallest part That organ will be breaking. Never love with all... SONG IN SPITE OF MYSELF by Countee Cullen.
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