CANCELED: Urban Bush Women Generative Dancer Workshop

May. 12, 2020, 10:00 am4:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)
MAY 11 - 15

$425 – $500


280 Broadway, Entrance at 53A Chambers
New York, NY 10007 United States

+ Google Map

Phone: (646) 837-6809

After careful consideration of the news regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), Urban Bush Women and Gibney have decided to cancel this workshop. This is a difficult decision to make, but during this time we need to prioritize the health and safety of our community and our staff. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Dream / Move / Re Search / Re Member/ Create / Delve Deeper / Repeat

Early Bird Price Before MARch 16: $425
regular price: $500

This five-day workshop will take participants, at any level of their choreographic practice, through UBW’s Generative Dancer Workshop. Please be prepared to work from 10AM-5PM daily. It is recommended that participants bring their lunch.

The participants will engage in a process-based approach to UBW’s art-making. The process-based investigations are informed by who is in the room and involve iterative cycles of rigorous embodied research informed by the traditions of radical Black experimentation in the fields of culture, politics, identity, and history. This process will source our environment, bodies, and lineage as sites of archival research, exploring archiving as a creative and embodied process. UBW Facilitators will guide research through their multifaceted approach including literature, film, site visits, and embodied practices. Additionally, each participant is asked to bring in ideas they are researching or interested in developing. They will use their iPhones, tablets or computers to explore further how to deepen the research and move it into “embodiment”.

Our desire is to use a large palette of our learning that includes westernized practices and approaches while holding at the center the glory of defining ourselves. UBW friend James Frazier calls this “The Radical Act of Being”—without apology, worrying about the comfort, acceptance, or understanding of people who may have “othered” us.

Each day will be structured with:

  • Movement Based Warmup
  • Structured Improvisation / investigation / solo practice
  • Research
  • Structural Concepts / Finding Form

We invite EVERYBODY to join us in this work. We are reclaiming the word EVERYBODY, not as empty diversity, equity & inclusion language, but as an explicit invitation to people of ALL identities who are interested in examining history and art-making practices of Black Radical Experimental Artists.


Urban Bush Women (UBW) burst onto the dance scene in 1984, with bold, innovative, demanding and exciting works that brought 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 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.

Off the concert stage, Urban Bush Women has developed an extensive community engagement program called BOLD (Builders, Organizers, & Leaders through Dance). 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/activists in a learning experience to leverage the arts as a vehicle for civic engagement.

UBW launched the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative (CCI) in January 2016. The CCI supports the development of women choreographers of color and other underheard voices.


Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (Urban Bush Women Founding Artistic Director and Visioning Partner) After earning her B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Zollar received her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. In 1984 Zollar founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. Zollar developed a unique approach to enable artists to strengthen effective involvement in cultural organizing and civic engagement, which evolved into UBW’s acclaimed Summer Leadership Institute. She serves as director of the Institute, founding artistic director and visioning partner of UBW and currently holds the position of the Nancy Smith Fichter Professor of Dance and Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor at Florida State University. Awards: 2008 United States Artists Wynn fellowship, 2009 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial, 2013 Arthur L. Johnson Memorial award by Sphinx Music, 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, 2014 Meadows Prize from Southern Methodist University, 2015 Dance Magazine Award, 2016 Dance/USA Honor Award, 2016 Black Theater Alliance Award, 2017 Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance, 2018 American Conference on Diversity Performing Arts Humanitarian Award.

Photo collage by Urban Bush Women. 


Gibney 280 Broadway is accessible via elevator from the main entrance at 53A Chambers Street.

We welcome the opportunity to make this event more accessible. Please refrain from wearing scented products, so that people with chemical sensitivities can join us. Please request ASL interpreting, audio description, or open captioning 30 days before the event or submit other requests by completing our Access Requests and Inquiries Form or calling 646.837.6809 (Voice only