The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents Urban Bush Women in WALKING WITH 'TRANE
Bringing their signature style of vivid, strong, and intelligent dance to the Eisenhower Theater, Urban Bush Women returns to the Kennedy Center for the first time since 2008 with the evening-length work, Walking with 'Trane for two performances, April 7 and 8, 2017. Created by co-choreographers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Samantha Speis and dramaturg Talvin Wilks in collaboration with the company,Walking with 'Trane is inspired by the musical life and spiritual journey of mid-century jazz musician and composer John Coltrane, who stood at the forefront of jazz and bebop innovation in racially charged 1960's America.
Offering two distinct experiences, SIDE A and SIDE B, this stunning work features eye-catching projections by Wendell Harrington, colorful lighting design by Russell Sandifer, costumes by Helen Lucille-Collen, and live music played by Grammy Award®-winning jazz pianist George Caldwell. The company's engagement is part of JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy, the Kennedy Center's yearlong programming initiative marking the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's birth and legacy, inspired by five ideals frequently attributed to America's 35th President: Courage, Freedom, Justice, Service, andGratitude. Urban Bush Women's dedication to community engagement champions the ideal of service, embodying the spirit of President Kennedy's vision for America.
Scored by Philip White, SIDE A-"Just a Closer Walk with 'Trane," is a conjuring of the seminal musician's essence, based in rooted understandings of his music and "known" traditions pushed into heightened performance "states," for a journey through the echoes of the blues, bebop, hard bop, and free jazz. Accompanied by jazz piano legend George Caldwell, SIDE B-"Freed(om)," is an exploration of Coltrane's artistic imprint, specifically his groundbreaking 1965 album A Love Supreme. Walking with 'Trane was previously developed and workshopped at The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago and locally at the American Dance Institute prior to its world premiere in September 2015 at Opening Night Performances at Florida State University.
Founded by 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. 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 USA, a cultural diplomacy initiative spearheaded by the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Brooklyn Academy Of Music. UBW continues to celebrate more than 30 years of creating dance, engaging communities, and using dance to bring together audiences through innovative choreography, community engagement, and artistic leadership development.
Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online, at the Kennedy Center Box Office, or by calling Instant-Charge at (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324. For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540.
In the year leading up to the centennial of John F. Kennedy's birth on May 29, 2017, the Kennedy Center, the living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, is re-imagining the very mission of the institution created in his name. Inspired by some of the key ideals he championed-Courage, Freedom, Justice, Service, and Gratitude-the Center is featuring special programming through the year that explores, challenges, and reflects the contemporary spirit of America. Guided by JFK's legacy of idealism, hope, and empowerment, the Kennedy Center will serve as a creative catalyst and meeting place, inviting members of the public to engage directly with artists and ideas, and actively participate in the civic and cultural life of their country.
For more information about the Kennedy Center visit www.kennedy-center.org.