Women & Their Work, Black Arts Alliance, and Austin Dance Umbrella proudly presented Urban Bush Women on Friday March 24 & Saturday March 25 at the UT Opera Lab Theater, 8 pm.
Urban Bush Women was Established in 1984 by Artistic Director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar as a vehicle for her exploration of cross-cultural diversity and theatrical constants. Using Contemporary idioms and interdisciplinary forms, the company presents dance/theater works rooted in the folklore and religious traditions of African-Americans throughout the diaspora. Through the driving immediacy of live music, the drama and wit of the spoken word, a cappella vocalizations based on field hollers and chants, and most especially, the force and spirit of movement, the company explores the struggle, growth, and transformation of the human spirit. The performers take us from the particular–a birthing ceremony, a teenage pajama party, a rural church, a hot Southern night– to the universal–the sisterhood forged in want, the dignity found through suffering, the joy wrested from survival. They create a sense of community on stage, singing and dancing for all of us about our common humanity.
“It isn’t often that a dance performance brings an audience spontaneously to its feet in a standing ovation, that sends an audience out singing. But Urban Bush Women did just that… Deeply affecting and stylishly produced work.” Jennifer Dunning, New York Times