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Spelman Department of Drama and Dance and NBAF Host ‘A Weekend with Urban Bush Women’ Sept. 21 -22

Spelman College


 Media Contact(s) :

Audrey Arthur


T. Lang


ATLANTA (Sept. 14, 2012) -- Spelman College department of drama and dance in partnership with NBAF, presenters of the National Black Arts Festival, will host “A Weekend with Urban Bush Women” ─ two signature events designed to provide a perspective on the art of dance and the role it has played in activism and creating social change.

The weekend events will open with “Urban Bush Women: The Dialogue” on Friday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in Spelman’s Baldwin Burroughs Theatre located in the Rockefeller Fine Arts Building.  This intimate conversation features Dr. Michael Simanga, NBAF executive director and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, the creative force and founding artistic director of the nationally renowned dance company Urban Bush Women.  

“This dialogue will extend the conversation between NBAF and Spelman College, two institutions committed to the important work of supporting artists like Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, who carry and extend the African-American creative tradition,” said Dr. Simanga.

Spelman College department of drama and dance and NBAF will also host “Dance for Every Body,” a master class conducted by Urban Bush Women on Saturday, Sept.  22, at 12 p.m. in Read Hall at Spelman.  

“Dance for Every Body” is a movement jam/dance class that embraces the ideas that each individual has a unique and powerful contribution to make, and that bodies are a powerful sources of agency. The goal is for "every body" to find their level of challenge and comfort, to partake according to their abilities, and to appreciate the group’s diversity as an attribute to their community. Prior dance experience is not required. Participants will explore Urban Bush Women's technique with close attention to the use of breath, weight, call and response, and polyrhythm.

Noting the significance of the two-day event, Assistant Professor of Dance and Director of Spelman Dance Theater T. Lang said, “It will provide an enlightening experience for our students and the Atlanta community. Consistently, Spelman has been at the forefront of empowering our students to be social change agents who will inspire and have a positive impact in their communities and abroad. This charge connects with NBAF’s and Urban Bush Women’s missions. It will be a unique opportunity for our students to see firsthand how the arts, specifically dance, affect social change.”

“A Weekend with Urban Bush Women” is free and open to the public. For more information, call 404-270-5474.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.

About NBAF, presenters of the National Black Arts Festival
NBAF is a cultural leader renowned worldwide for showcasing the very best of the culture of the African Diaspora for more than two decades.  NBAF’s mission is to engage, cultivate and educate diverse audiences about the arts and culture of the African Diaspora and provide opportunities for artistic and creative expression. On the occasion of its 20th Anniversary, the U.S. Congress honored NBAF for its importance to the “…cultural fabric of greater Atlanta and all of America…” and recognized NBAF’s highly acclaimed National Black Arts Festival as “…the premier festival of its kind in the United States.”

About Urban Bush Women
Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women (UBW) seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. We do this from a woman-centered perspective and as members of the African Diaspora community in order to create a more equitable balance of power in the dance world and beyond. We do this by facilitating the use of art as a means of addressing issues of social justice and encouraging civic engagement. Based in Brooklyn, we aspire to ensure continuity by strengthening and expanding our international community via ongoing professional education, development of new audiences, nurturing young talent and presenting bold, life-affirming dance works in a variety of settings.

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