The Yard Performances

"Walking with Pearl"

 "Chicken Soup," by Blondell Cummings and Urban Bush Women
"Walking With Pearl: Africa and Southern Diaries," with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar



Urban Bush Women (UBW) burst onto the dance scene in 1984, with bold, innovative, demanding and exciting works that bring under-told stories to life through the art and vision of its award-winning founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. The company weaves contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora.

Under Zollar’s artistic direction, Urban Bush Women performs regularly in New York City and tours nationally and internationally. The Company has been commissioned by presenters nationwide, and includes among its honors 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 DanceMotion USAsm, a cultural diplomacy initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Off the concert stage, Urban Bush Women has developed an extensive community engagement program called BOLD (Builders, Organizers, & Leaders through Dance). UBW’s BOLD program has a network of over 29 facilitators that travel nationally and internationally to conduct workshops that bring the histories of local communities forward through performance. UBW’s largest community engagement project is its Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), established in 1997. This 10-day intensive training program serves as the foundation for all of the company’s community engagement activities. Ultimately the SLI program connects dance professionals and community-based artists/activist in a learning experience to leverage the arts as a vehicle for civic engagement.

As UBW celebrates its 30th Anniversary year, it continues to use dance to bring together audiences through innovative choreography, community engagement and artistic leadership development.