BRIC Announces NY Premiere of HAIR & OTHER STORIES from Artists-in-Residence Urban Bush Women
BRIC, celebrating 40 years as the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, announces the New York premiere of Hair & Other Stories from newly appointed BRIC Artists-in-Residence Urban Bush Women. This evening-length experiential journey from the Brooklyn-based dance company that has "interpreted the black experience with passion and focus for [over] thirty years" (Village Voice) blends dance-theater performance and conversation (Jan. 31, Feb. 1-2, 7-9) in what Urban Bush Women describe as the "urgent dialogue of the 21st century." As part of their residency, the beloved company will also present a series of political, fun, and sometimes raucous Hair Parties, as well as monthly Community Dance Classes.
Hair & Other Stories is a medley of personal narratives gathered from performers' communities, kitchen and living room conversations, as well as social media and YouTube. The performance explores disquieting perceptions of beauty, identity, and race through the lens of hair, primarily that of African-American women, as it debates the center of perceived American "values." Choreographed by Associate Artistic Directors Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis as a radical reinterpretation of HairStories (2001), the work features new music compositions by The Illustrious Blacks, costumes by DeeDee Gomes, stage direction by Raelle Myrick-Hodges, pre-show story-sharing and performances from a rotating cast of special guest, and a performance space that evolves in the course of the evening to encourage shifting perspectives. Powerful and humorous, Hair & Other Stories celebrates the persevering narrative of the African Diaspora, and the path to freedom and self-love.
In conjunction with Hair & Other Stories, Urban Bush Women will host Hair Parties (dates to be announced)- combining conversation, guided movement, and excerpts from Hair & Other Stories in interactive workshops that encourage participants to re-examine closely held beliefs about themselves in society. Using hair as a lens through which to examine systemic racism in America, Urban Bush Women fosters bravery and risk-taking to unapologetically delve into conversations on race relations in the United States.
On September 18, Urban Bush Women began a series of free Community Dance Classes at BRIC titled Dance for Every Body, which will also take place Nov. 13, Dec. 18, and Jan. 15. These movement jam/dance classes for "every body" explore Urban Bush Women's technique while embracing the idea that everyone has a unique and significant contribution to make, and will give attendees the opportunity to participate in pre-show and intermission experiences during performances of Hair & Other Stories.
On October 16, an interactive movement workshop titled Talk 'Trane (free and open to everyone, with no dance experience required), will take place as part of the 2018 BRIC JazzFest. Talk 'Trane takes participants behind the creative process of Urban Bush Women and their pianist collaborator George Caldwell for their evening-length piece Walking with 'Trane (2015), inspired by the musical life and spiritual journey of John Coltrane.
"We are thrilled to welcome Urban Bush Women as BRIC's 40th Anniversary Artists-in-Residence," said Jack Walsh, BRIC's Vice President of Performing Arts. "As part of our continuing mission to present programs that reflect the creativity and diversity of Brooklyn, and to nurture work by local artists, BRIC is honored to partner with this prestigious company, which for decades has given voice to under-told stories of the African Diaspora in venues across the nation."
Schedule, Tickets, and Details for Other Urban Bush Women Events
Urban Bush Women: Dance for Every Body
Tuesdays, Sept. 18, Nov. 13, Dec. 18, 2018 and Jan. 15, 2019 | 6:30-8PM
BRIC House Ballroom
Free w/ RSVP
The goal of these movement jam/dance classes is for "every body" to find their level of challenge and comfort and partake according to their abilities, and to appreciate the group's diversity as a benefit to their community. Participants explore Urban Bush Women technique with close attention to the use of breath, weight, call and response, and polyrhythm. This is a movement class designed for the community, so no prior dance experience is needed.
As a way of building community, class attendees will also have the unique opportunity to participate in Urban Bush Women's upcoming performances of Hair & Other Stories at BRIC as audience animators and guides during pre-show and intermission experiences.
Urban Bush Women: Talk 'Trane
Tuesday, Oct. 16 | 6:30-8PM
BRIC House Ballroom
(Part of BRIC JazzFest)
Free w/ RSVP
Talk 'Trane takes participants behind the creative process of Urban Bush Women and their pianist collaborator George Caldwell for their evening-length piece Walking with 'Trane (2015), inspired by the musical life and spiritual journey of John Coltrane. In this interactive movement workshop, Caldwell shares excerpts of his original score, and talks about his inspiration for the work and how he interpreted Coltrane's music in his own voice. Urban Bush Women's dancers will informally show excerpts of process and respond to the music Caldwell plays in the moment, demonstrating the collaborative and responsive approach taken in making the piece. Participants are guided through explorations used in the choreographic process and encouraged to respond to the music with their own movement. Talk 'Trane is open to everyone, no dance experience necessary.
Urban Bush Women: Hair & Other Stories (New York Premiere)
Jan 31, Feb 1-2, 7-9
7PM Pre-Show Activities | 8PM Performance
$20 Adv /$25 Day-of-show
BRIC House Ballroom
Described by the Brooklyn-based company as the "urgent dialogue of the 21st century," Hair & Other Stories is a medley of personal narratives gathered from community, kitchen and living room conversations, social media, and YouTube. This evening-length experience blends dance-theater performance and conversation to explore disquieting perceptions of beauty, identity, and race through the lens of hair, primarily that of African-American women.
Choreographed by Associate Artistic Directors Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis as a radical reinterpretation of HairStories (2001), the work features new music compositions by The Illustrious Blacks, costumes by DeeDee Gomes, and stage direction by Raelle Myrick-Hodges. A true experiential journey that begins outside of the theater with story-sharing and performances from a rotating cast of special guests, and that culminates in a performance space that evolves in the course of the evening to encourage shifting perspectives, Hair and Other Stories celebrates the path to freedom and self-love as we seek to rise to our Extra-ordinary Selves in extraordinary times.
Urban Bush Women: Hair Parties
Hair Parties are gatherings where performative elements of Hair & Other Stories are used to ignite dialogue around race relations in the United States. Participants will recall their own personal hair stories and consider childhood notions of beauty and their proximity to that standard; understand manifestations of racism; consider practices for dismantling racism; and sustaining those practices in a lifestyle of liberation. Throughout, participants will explore guided movement and song to foster deeper connections to these ideas, turn ideas into action, channel discomfort, embody hopes and, in doing all of this, transform. No dance training or experience necessary.
About Urban Bush Women
Urban Bush Woman (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; a Black Theater Alliance Award; and two 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. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Brooklyn Academy Of Music. In recent years, Zollar has been awarded the 2014 Southern Methodist University Meadows Prize, the 2015 Dance Magazine Award and the 2016 Dance/USA Honors Award. In 2017, Zollar received a Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance.
Learn more at BRICartsmedia.org