The center

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THE UBW CHOREOGRAPHIC CENTER INITIATIVE (CCI) IS A TEN-TO-FIFTEEN YEAR INVESTMENT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN OF COLOR CHOREOGRAPHERS, WHOSE VOICES ARE NOT AS PROMINENT IN THE NATIONAL ARTS ECOLOGY AS THEY SHOULD BE.

The UBW CCI is an extension of the UBW mission and is rooted in UBW core values.  It takes a two-pronged approach – supporting the individual choreographer and bringing about systemic change in the field of dance.

UBW has identified several areas where the organization is best equipped to intervene over the next 10-15 years to improve the working conditions of women choreographers of color which include:

  • Peer and mentor based reflection and learning communities

  • Research and development residencies to advance the creation of new work

  • Advocacy and influence to enhance exposure and connection to the field

  • Contextual support

  • Curriculum development for experimental choreography rooted in identity, culture and issue/social justice based origins

  • Platforms for dialogue, reflection and presentation

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THE UBW CCI IS NOT A PHYSICAL SPACE BUT IS ACTIVATED THROUGH STRATEGIC ALLIANCES WITH INDIVIDUALS AND INSTITUTIONS ACROSS THE U.S.

UBW’s use of the term “Center” is a philosophical construct that disrupts 20th century notions of how groups organize themselves for the purpose of a common goal. Our use of Center is placing UBW at the center point as the initiator, gatherer and root system of a rigorous way to support female choreographers of color and push the field by privileging the building of nationwide partnerships and relationships over brick and mortar space.

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“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be strong and vulnerable and a force to be reckoned with!”

—Asja Parrish Being Bushified! Participant

 
 

About the center

 

The UBW CCI uses targeted methods designed to provide the most needed support to choreographers as it is needed.

The focus of the CCI is to provide direct support to artists at three distinct stages of their careers and to engage institutional partners to lay the foundation for future support for these artists and the vision of the CCI.

Through the CCI programming, UBW will provide choreographers with opportunities for funding, training, convening, networking, mentoring, critical reflection and collaboration.

 

Choreographic fellows

The UBW Choreographic Fellowship Program, a single component of the UBW CCI, is structured over two years and includes a 9-month planning process with Fellowship Candidates, followed by a full year of Fellowship activity.

The 2017-2018 Fellows are:

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Amara Tabor-Smith

Francesca Harper

Marguerite Hemmings

Marjani Forté-Saunders

Paloma McGregor

The 2018-2019 Fellows Are:

Maria Bauman 

Hope Boykin


Ananya Chatterjea


Stephanie McKee


Ni’Ja Whitson  


The Choreographic Fellowship Program will support the development of work dealing with complex narratives addressing race, history, cultural identity, ethnicity and pressing social issues. The program includes direct financial support, one or more residencies, mentorship, writing and reflection. Participating choreographers have made a commitment to placing one’s choreographic process as the highest priority examining questions of craft, clarity of vision and execution of ideas in a rigorous and granular way through a dramaturgical and research process.

Read the Fellows’ reflections on their work HERE.

 

classes & workshops

Generative Dancer

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UBW GENERATIVE DANCER: PROCESS & DRAMATURGY

Date: May 18 - May 22, 2019 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: GIBNEY | 280 Broadway | New York, NY 10007 | Entrance at 53A Chambers

Register HERE

With Jawole Willa Jo Zollar & Company
PRICE: $500.00
EARLYBIRD SPECIAL: $425.00 before March 18, 2019

Urban Bush Women share their process of art making involving iterative cycles of rigorous embodied research informed by culture, politics and history. Engage with UBW-led physical practices, explore how they develop solo practice as a rigorous discipline of generating material, and discover the relationship between dramaturgy and research. Through improvisational practice, embodied research, and the valuing one’s artistic lineage and “mother tongue”, UBW creates a shared space of learning together. This allows artists who are often in isolation to be part of a learning community that challenges, provokes and innovates.

Testimonial:

"This past week working with Jawole Zollar and Urban Bush Women has been a truly incredible experience. After spending the past year researching Urban Bush Women and related artists for my thesis, this intensive has encouraged me to put academic theories of resistance into practice. This past week I have gained a deeper and embodied articulation of radical Black movement and creation. I am deeply thankful to UBW for teaching me about Black modern dance history and for inspiring me to push my limits as an artist. Thank you Urban Bush Women!"

Rachel, 2017

 
 
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voices from the bush (blog)

Marjani Forté-Saunders’ Unicorns and the Act of Becoming

January 18, 2018

2017 UBW Choreographic Fellowship Candidate, Co-Founder of LOVE|FORTÉ A COLLECTIVE and Co-Director of Alkebulon Cultural CenterMarjani Fortè-Saunders offers insight into the intentions and influences behind the performance installation "Memoirs of a ... Unicorn: The Act of Becoming" and how the project is evolving. This article was developed for UBW's five-part series of articles offering insight into this remarkable co-hort of choreographers shaping the world of dance today. 

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