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Spelman College and NBAF host ‘A Weekend with Urban Bush Women’ Sept. 21-22 | Arts & Culture

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Spelman College and NBAF host ‘A Weekend with Urban Bush Women’ Sept. 21-22
Spelman College and NBAF host  ‘A Weekend with Urban Bush Women’ Sept. 21-22

ATLANTA -- Spelman College department of drama and dance in partnership with NBAF, presenters of the National Black Arts Festival, will host “A Weekend with Urban Bush Women”  ─  two signature events designed to provide a perspective on the art of dance and the role it has played in activism and creating social change.

The weekend events will open with “Urban Bush Women: The Dialogue” on Friday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in Spelman’s Baldwin Burroughs Theatre located in the Rockefeller Fine Arts Building.  This intimate conversation features Dr. Michael Simanga, NBAF executive director and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, the creative force and founding artistic director of the nationally renowned dance company Urban Bush Women.  

“This dialogue will extend the conversation between NBAF and Spelman College, two institutions committed to the important work of supporting artists like Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, who carry and extend the African-American creative tradition,” said Dr. Simanga.

Spelman College department of drama and dance and NBAF will also host “Dance for Every Body,” a master class conducted by Urban Bush Women on Saturday, Sept.  22, at 12 p.m. in Read Hall at Spelman.  

“Dance for Every Body” is a movement jam/dance class that embraces the ideas that each individual has a unique and powerful contribution to make, and that bodies are a powerful sources of agency. The goal is for "every body" to find their level of challenge and comfort, to partake according to their abilities, and to appreciate the group’s diversity as an attribute to their community. No prior dance experience is needed. Participants will explore Urban Bush Women's technique with close attention to the use of breath, weight, call and response, and polyrhythm.

Noting the significance of the two-day event, Assistant Professor of Dance and Director of Spelman Dance Theater T. Lang said, “It will provide an enlightening experience for our students and the Atlanta community. Consistently, Spelman has been at the forefront of empowering our students to be social change agents who will inspire and have a positive impact in their communities and abroad. This charge connects with NBAF’s and Urban Bush Women’s missions. It will be a unique opportunity for our students to see firsthand how the arts, specifically dance, affect social change.”

“A Weekend with Urban Bush Women’ is free and open to the public. For more information, call 404-270-5474.