THE 30+ YEAR LIFE DANCE OF UBW
1984 (June 30) – Urban Bush Women premieres in New York City self-presented by Jawole.
1985 – UBW shares a stage with Sweet Honey in the Rock and discovers the women’s community is embracing its work.
1988 – Shelter becomes known as a signature work and identifies UBW as a company that creates works around issues of social justice.
1989 – Jawole spends a month in New Orleans and creates I Don’t Know But I’ve Been Told If You Keep On Dancin’ You Never Grow Old, a tribute to popular and vernacular dance traditions within the African American community.
1990 – Praise House premieres at the Spoleto Festival with previews at Atlanta Black Arts Festival.
1991 – The first community engagement project takes place in New Orleans.
1992 – Shelter is set on the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and becomes a staple in the company’s repertory. UBW incorporates as a non-profit and is awarded the New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”).
1995 – The idea for the UBW Summer Leadership Institute emerges from problems encountered regarding our community engagement work in Miami.
1997 -99 – Jawole develops the Institute entitled “A New Dancer for A New Society” in tribute to W.E.B. Dubois. It is the first of its kind in the dance industry.
1998 – The company is awarded a Doris Duke Award for New Work from the American Dance Festival.
2000 – UBW moves to Brooklyn to be more fully connected to an African American community.
2002 – UBW’s Hair Parties project receives funding to promote arts-based civic dialogue, which prompts Jawole to initiate discussion of UBW’s core values.
2003 – UBW begins a summer camp partnership with the Brooklyn YWCA.
2004 – The first Brooklyn Summer Leadership Institute is held. Participants co-create a piece called Are We Democracy?
2005 – Jawole completes Walking with Pearl…Southern Diaries, which follows 2004’s Walking with Pearl…Africa Diaries, both of which pay tribute to the legendary choreographer, educator and social activist, Pearl Primus.
2006 – Jawole is awarded a Bessie for her work as choreographer/creator of Walking with Pearl…Southern Diaries.
2008 – Jawole is named a United States Artist Wynn Fellow.
2009 – Jawole is invited to a White House convening for innovative, grassroots leaders building community and is named a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
2009 – To celebrate and recognize its 25 year anniversary season, UBW launches Being Bushified, its monthly programming series held in the Great Room in its Brooklyn headquarters.
2010 – UBW tours South America in March as one of three American companies selected to inaugurate DanceMotion USA, a cultural diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs produced by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music).
2010 (June 30) - UBW launches its new website.
2010 – Zollar: Uncensored, 25th anniversary premiere
2011 – visible premiere, BOLD launched as formal education and community engagement
2012 – Blood Muscle Bone, UBW's collaboration with Liz Lerman in progress
2014 -- Primiere of dark swan
2015 - UBW celebrated our 30 year anniversary with our friends at the Anniversary Gala, premiere of Walking with 'Trane Side A & B
2016 - Prototype of the Choreographic Center is launched
“As it is, in the intervening years since most of the material was made, [Zollar] has found her way to a wonderfully textured, important body of work.”
Claudia La Rocco,
The New York Times, 2010
Urban Bush Woman has had three male dancers in the company: Darrell Jones, Kwame A. Ross and Trebien Pollard.