The tour includes workshops from the organization's signature community engagement program, BOLD (Builders, Organizers, and Leaders through Dance).

By: Mar. 19, 2024
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As part of its multifaceted 40th Anniversary celebration and 2024 season launch, the award-winning Urban Bush Women (UBW), a Black women-led theatrical dance company and social activism ensemble, will present the Legacy + Lineage + Liberation tour. Held across multiple cities, these performances will explore issues of equity, justice, and identity with iconic works by UBW founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and new pieces by artistic directors Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra Speis.

Celebrating the power of Black Women+, UBW kicks off its 2024 season during Black History Month with Legacy + Lineage + Liberation, an anthology of performances that will tour seven cities from February through April 2024, including Boone, NC; Purchase, NY; Buffalo, NY; Tucson, AZ; Fort Collins, CO; Denver, CO; and Los Angeles, CA.

The tour includes workshops from the organization's signature community engagement program, BOLD (Builders, Organizers, and Leaders through Dance). Its activities are influenced by UBW's other signature programs, including the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), and Choreographic Center Initiative Producing Program (CCI 2.0). 

Zollar states, "UBW's work and vision have been born from the practices, learnings, and wisdom of the work in the studio and community. It is exciting to see a new generation of leadership take this legacy work and fashion a compelling vision unique to their work and generation. Keep on keeping on...and to another generation and another generation and another generation."

Judson states, "After having performed with UBW for many years, I am honored to accept my new role as Artistic Director and build on four decades of groundbreaking work. We are powerfully here. Looking to the next forty years, Urban Bush Women's approach to producing immersive art-making and experiential community practices looks to collaboration across the intersection of art, fashion, and new media to continue the paradigm shifts in a world that craves collective transformation and social change."

Diarra Speis states, "Celebrating UBW's forty years and having recently accepted my new role as Artistic Director at a Black woman-led organization is a testament to the dedication and determination of those in circle with Urban Bush Women. Dating back to the 80s and 90s, our ensemble has been the barrier conduit in the sharing of legacy, culture, and futuring. We've held history and education through storytelling and the celebration of the many people that have been a part of UBW. That rich soil is an interconnection of performers, people, and artists who are aligned with the values."

Legacy + Lineage + Liberation features an excerpt of Haint Blu, a dramatic new work by Judson and Speis, and three iconic pieces by Zollar:

  • Give Your Hands to Struggle lyrically honors leaders of the Civil Rights era.

  • Women's Resistance fuses power and grace in a call to collective action.

  • I Don't Know but I Been Told...if You Keep on Dancin' You Never Grow Old is an energetic mash-up of dance forms from Black neighborhoods.

  • Haint Blu: Episode 1 - Listenin' and Dreamin': Do You Hear Me Now? is an ensemble dance-theater work, steeped in memory and magic, that uses performance as a source of healing.

Original Choreography by
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Founder

Directed by
Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra Speis, Co-Artistic Directors

Associate Artistic Director:
Courtney J. Cook

The Company:
Kentoria Earle, Roobi Gaskins, Symara Sarai, Keola Jones,
Kashia Kancey (Apprentice), Mikaila Ware

Incorporating UBW's unique blend of musicality and movement, the program features live accompaniment by percussionist Lucianna Padmore and guitarist/singer Grace Galu Kalambay.


Friday, February 16th | 7:30 PM
Schaeffer Center for the Performing Arts - Appalachian State University, Boone, NC | BUY TICKETS

Saturday, February 24th | 8:00 PM
The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College - SUNY, Purchase, NY | BUY TICKETS

Wednesday, March 13th | 7:30 PM
UB Center for the Arts - University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY | BUY TICKETS

Friday, April 5th | 8:00 PM
Crowder Hall | Arizona Arts Live - University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ | BUY TICKETS

Tuesday, April 9th | 7:30 PM
The Lincoln Center Theater - Performance Hall - Fort Collins, CO | BUY TICKETS

Friday, April 12th | 7:30 PM
Newman Center for the Performing Arts - University of Denver, Denver, CO | BUY TICKETS

Friday, April 19th | 8:00 PM
Royce Hall - Center for the Art of Performance UCLA - Los Angeles, CA | BUY TICKETS


Off the concert stage, UBW continues its mission to affect the overall ecology of the arts by promoting artistic legacies, projecting the voices of the under-heard and people of color, bringing attention to and addressing issues of equity in the dance field and throughout the United States, and providing platforms for experimental art makers.


Feb 2024 - Feb 2025 | Launch of When Black Women+ Speak series begins
Taking place at major black-led cultural institutions throughout New York City

May 13 - 14, 2024 | 2024 Generative Dancer Workshop at Mark Morris Dance Center - Brooklyn, NY

June 28 - 30, 2024 | The world premiere of SCAT!... The Complex Lives of Al & Dot, Dot & Al Zollar at Bard Summerscape - Annandale-On-Hudson, NY BUY TICKETS

July 17 - 18, 2024 | SCAT!... The Complex Lives of Al & Dot, Dot & Al Zollar at the American Dance Festival - Durham, NC

July 17 - Jawole Willa Jo Zollar to receive the 2024 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement LEARN MORE

July - Aug 2024 | Urban Bush Women Lincoln Center Residency - New York, NY

July 26 - How We Got to the Funk Dance Party Led by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar & The UBW Company

July 26 - Aug 4 - Urban Bush Women BOLD Workshops Four free BOLD workshops offered to the community

July 28 & Aug 3 - Haint Blu: Episodic Chapters

September 2024 | This Is Risk (40th Anniversary national tour) launches.
Specific tour dates and cities to be announced.

November 2024 | Retrospective Anniversary Exhibition opens at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (at Lincoln Center) - New York, NY

Winter 2025 | NYC premiere of SCAT!... The Complex Lives of Al & Dot, Dot & Al Zollar at the Perelman Performing Arts Center - New York, NY