How do you express your thoughts? Or communicate what is important to you? How do you stand up for what you believe in?
Do you say it? Or write it down? Do you sing it from the roof-top?
Perhaps, you dance it.
Dance-maker and founding Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, continues to do just this- she uses art to express her identity and to communicate social and political issues. What a powerful and unique way to articulate the concerns of many. She is much like choreographer Nora Chipaumire, known for her brave, transnational work that investigates cultural, political, and economical identities of African contemporary life.
These brave women have put their words into movement time and time again, speaking through dance. As part of the U of M Dance Symposium around the Urban Bush Women Performance, you can see their work on Friday, October 22, as the University of Minnesota Dance Program students perform Walking with Pearl...Southern Diaries, choreographed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and re-staged by Keisha Turner and Laurie Taylor (members of Urban Bush Women) and Dark Swan choreographed and re-staged by Nora Chipaumire.
Zollar choreographed Walking With Pearl...Southern Diaries to honor the artistic legacy of Pearl Primus, a dancer, choreographer, and teacher who created for Americans an awareness of the riches of African and Caribbean culture. Zollar wanted to show how the legacy is connected to her own artistry.
Dark Swan by Nora Chipaumire is an interpretation of Michel Fokine's Dying Swan ballet created for Ana Pavlova and Dambudzo Marechera's heroines in House of Hunger. This piece is Chipaumire's singular comment on womanhood/priesthood.
For more choreography saturated with expression, attend the Urban Bush Women performance at Ted Mann Concert Hall Sunday, Oct 24 and see other works of Zollar's.
These performances will undoubtedly touch you, teach you, and inspire you to express your thoughts, to communicate what you think is important, and to stand up for what you believe in. And remember, you can say it, you can write it down, you can sing it from the rooftop; you can even dance it.
Marketing Intern and U of M Student