Hair & Other Stories A production of
Urban Bush Women
Friday Evening, January 12, 2018 at 8:00
Ann Arbor 29th Performance of the 139th Annual Season
27th Annual Dance Series This eveningÕs performance is sponsored by Michigan Medicine and Toyota. Additional funding provided by the The National Endowment for the Arts and by the New England Foundation for the ArtsÕ National Dance Project. Media partnership provided by Between the Lines, Michigan Radio 91.7 FM, and WDET 101.9 FM. Special thanks to Kimberli Boyd, Clare Croft, Charles Ferrell, Miryam Johnson, Johanna Kepler,
Grace Lehman, Kandis Terry, Robin Wilson, the Ann Arbor YMCA, and the Charles H. Wright Museum
of African American History for their participation in events surrounding this eveningÕs performance. Hair & Other Stories appears by arrangement with IMG Artists. In consideration of the artists and the audience, please refrain from the use of electronic devices during the performance. The photography, sound recording, or videotaping of this performance is prohibited. COMPANY DuÕBois AÕKeen, Courtney J. Cook, Chanon Judson, Tendayi Kuumba, Stephanie Mas, Samantha Speis CREATIVE TEAM Choreography / Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis in collaboration with The Company Stage Direction / Raelle Myrick-Hodges Dramaturg / Jawole Willa Jo Zollar Lighting Designer / Xavier Pierce Costume Designer / DeeDee Gomes Projections Designer / Nicholas Hussong Sound Design / Everett Asis Saunders Original Concept for HairStories (2001) / Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Elizabeth Herron Music / The Illustrious Blacks (Manchildblack and Monstah Black) Additional Music / ÒOwn That ShitÓ by Tendayi Kuumba and Greg Purnell; ÒDown DownÓ and "I Paid My Dues" by Tendayi Kuumba; ÒI am Not YoursÓ by DuÕBois AÕKeen Hair & Other Stories is approximately 90 minutes in duration and is performed
with one intermission. Following this eveningÕs performance, please feel free to remain in your seats and join us for a post-performance Q&A with members of the company. Crafted from personal narratives from our kitchens and living rooms, social media and YouTube, to plantation houses of the Deep South, Hair & Other Stories debates the center of perceived American ÒvaluesÓ and celebrates the persevering narrative of the African Diaspora. Hair & Other Stories explores disquieting perceptions of body image, race, gender identity, economic inequities, and what constitutes freedom, liberation, and release in our everyday struggles to rise to our Extra-ordinary Selves in extraordinary times. This is the urgent dialogue of the
21st century. ARTISTS Urban Bush Women (UBW) burst onto the dance scene in 1984, with bold, innovative, demanding, and exciting works that bring 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 Ms. ZollarÕs 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 (ÒBessieÓ); 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 March 2010, UBW toured South America as part of DanceMotion USA, a cultural diplomacy initiative spearheaded by the US Department of StateÕs Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In recent years, Ms. 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, Ms. 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). UBWÕs BOLD program has a network of facilitators that travel nationally and internationally to conduct workshops that bring the histories of local communities forward through performance. UBWÕs 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 CompanyÕs 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. As an extension of UBWÕs mission and core values, UBW launched the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center in January 2016. The center supports the development of women choreographers of color and other under-heard voices. UBW continues to celebrate over 30 years of creating dance, engaging communities and using dance to bring together audiences through innovative choreography, community engagement, and artistic leadership development. Founding artistic director and visioning partner Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (dramaturg) earned her BA in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and her MFA in dance from Florida State University. In 1984, Ms. Zollar founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. Ms. Zollar developed a unique approach to enable artists to strengthen effective involvement in cultural organizing and civic engagement, which evolved into UBWÕs 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. Ms. Zollar has won many awards, including the 2008 United States Artists Wynn fellowship, a 2009 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial, the 2013 Arthur L. Johnson Memorial Award by Sphinx Music, a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, the 2014 Meadows Prize from Southern Methodist University, the 2016 Dance Magazine Award, the 2016 Dance/USA Honor Award, the 2016 Black Theater Alliance Award, and in 2017, the Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance. Aminata Balde (performer) is making her debut performance with Urban Bush Women. She is excited to celebrate this landmark in her two years of being on the Earth. Chanon Judson (associate artistic director/performer) began her relationship with UBW in 2001. She has had the privilege of serving the company as rehearsal director; director for UB2, Urban Bush WomenÕs performing apprentice ensemble; and now furthers her work with UBW as associate artistic director and co-coordinator of BOLD (Builders, Organizers, & Leaders through Dance). An avid arts educator, Ms. Judson has instructed for Ailey Arts in Education (director of Ailey Camp Missouri), BAM, Earl MosleyÕs Institute for the Arts, and is the founder of CumbeÕs Dance Drum and Imagination Camp for Children, as well as Preschool Rock!, creative movement and art-making for children. Courtney J. Cook (performer) is a Virginia native now residing in Brooklyn. She began her formal dance training at the Virginia GovernorÕs School for the Arts. She later attended and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, receiving her BFA in dance and choreography. In addition to being a company member with Urban Bush Women, she also performs in projects working with astounding choreographers and artists of the community such as Christian Von Howard, Jennifer Archibald, Brotherhood Dance, and The Indigo Artists Collective. She looks forward to continuing her journey in the arts and community organizing with Urban Bush Women. DeeDee Gomes (costume designer) is a self-taught fashion and fiber artist based in New York. She has created stage attire and done fashion styling for musicians and bands, including Meshell Ndegeocello, Nation Beat, and individual singers from Enrique IglesiasÕs band. She designed costumes for Brazilian band Fihos de Jorge that were featured in one of their music videos that had over six million views. She also designed costumes for the dance ensemble The Pulse Project. She was a member of the girl band Funky Diamonds, with which she did the styling, costumes, and toured internationally. Ms. Gomes is owner of DeeDeeÕs Street Boutique in New York, which features her remarkable, one-of-a-kind repurposed and recycled clothing. DuÕBois AÕKeen (performer) is a true renaissance spirit and was born and raised in Albany, Georgia. Mr. AÕKeen began his formal dance training at age 19. After receiving his BFA in dance from Florida State University, he was accepted as an MFA candidate. While studying in New York, Mr. AÕKeen was asked to joined UBW in December 2014. Aside from his work with UBW as a company member and marketing/branding consultant, Mr. AÕKeen serves as the founder and leader of the rapidly growing creative movement and global community The Tuesday Thing. Mr. AÕKeen is the co-founder and creative director of AKEEN BRAND, LLC and ÔKEEN Thinking, a lifestyle brand and blog platform. Mr. AÕKeen is also a IFP Screen Forward Lab Fellow in the 2017 cohort. Everett Asis Saunders (sound designer) is the founder and creative director of Flux Innovations, a sound and audio services company. Their recent clients include PBS, Sony Music, and Columbia Records. Mr. Saunders is a producer, composer, songwriter, and performer. He has specific knowledge and practice in arranging, editing, and mixing for theater, film, and music entertainment. His work spans across genres with original compositions for numerous independent films and the New York/Los Angeles dance community, with his latest commissions including Memoirs of a...Unicorn by Marjani Forte & Works. Film works include PBS March on Washington (2013), Print Shop (2016), and Project Imagination winner Transporter directed by Damon Colquhoun. . Manchildblack and Monstah Black, known as The Illustrious Blacks (music composer), comprise this fabulous musical duo who have arrived on a mission to fuse futuristic funk, hypnotic house, and cosmic pop into pulsating positivity for the planet. Their entertaining weekly radio show on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York, On Air w/The Blacks, invites audiences to listen in as they conduct interviews, feature live performers, and discuss the latest happenings in global pop culture. Nicholas HussongÕs (projections designer) Off-Broadway credits include Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company) and These Paper Bullets! (Drama Desk Nomination, Atlantic Theater Company, Geffen Playhouse, Yale Rep). His regional credits include Grounded (Alley Theatre), Two Trains Running (Arden Theater), The Mountaintop (Playmakers Rep), I Saw My Neighbor on the Train and I DidnÕt Even Smile (Berkshires Theatre Group), as well as productions with Esperanza Spalding, Abrons Art Center, Premieres NYC, Ars Nova, Heartbeat Opera, Cantata Profana, Nashville Symphony, Hartford Symphony, I Am A Boys Choir, Summerworks Toronto, LaMaMa Summer Share, and JoeÕs Pub. Mr. Hussong was the artistic associate at Triad Stage in Greensboro, North Carolina where he continues to design new works based on Appalachian life written by Preston Lane. Raelle Myrick-Hodges (stage director) is ecstatic to be working with Urban Bush Women for the first time. She has directed plays nationally and worked as a stage director internationally in devised works. She is the founder of Azuka Theater located in Philadelphia, an award-winning theater company now in its 23rd year. She has presented works in dance, music, theater, and film as curator of performing arts for the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans. She has worked with artists in different aesthetics and disciplines including Denis OÕHare, Miriam Hyman, Meryl Streep, Antonio Brown (choreographer), Jeffrey Wright, and Chinaka Hodge. Currently, Ms. Myrick-Hodges is working on two works for her newly created theater ensemble Elephant Room which premieres works in January 2019. Her creative contribution on Hair & Other Stories is dedicated to the memory of Ebony McKinney, co-founder of Elephant Room. Upcoming works directed by Ms. Myrick-Hodges include The Bluest Eye written by Toni Morrison and adapted by Lydia Diamond at the Arden Theater Company, and a world premiere of the 1947 play In Splendid Error written by William Branch, the fictional telling of the day before John BrownÕs raid on HarperÕs Ferry. Samantha Speis (associate artistic director/performer) is a movement artist based in New York City. She has worked with Gesel Mason, The Dance Exchange, Jumatatu Poe, Deborah Hay (as part of Some Sweet Day curated by Ralph Lemon at MoMA), Marjani Forte, and Liz Lerman. She is currently a member of The Skeleton Architecture, a collective of black womyn and and gender non-conforming artists who use the practice of improvisation to create, organize, advocate, gather, play, and challenge. She was the 2012 recipient of the Alvin Ailey New Directions Choreography Lab and recently was awarded a Bessie Award for ÒOutstanding Performer.Ó Her work has been featured at the Kennedy Center (Millennium Stage), Long Island University, Joyce SoHo, Hollins University, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, Dance Place, and The Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Her solo, The Way it Was, and Now, was commissioned by the Jerome Foundation to be performed at Danspace Project for the Parallels Platform Series, and was later invited to the Kaay Fecc Dance Festival in Dakar, Senegal. She has developed a teaching practice that explores pelvic mobility as the root of powerful locomotion and as a point of connection to the stories, experiences, and lineages that reside in each of us. She has been a guest artist and taught workshops throughout the US, South America, Senegal, and Europe. Recent projects include Walking with Trane co-choreographed with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and her collaboration with Chanon Judson-Johnson and Raelle Myrick-Hodges on Hair & Other Stories. Stephanie Mas (performer) is a Miami native, and has been a performer with Urban Bush Women since her entry into the company in June 2013. Throughout her time with Urban Bush Women she has had the opportunity to tour worldwide, performing and co-facilitating workshops and master classes in the different communities they have been invited to visit. She also works as a freelance performing artist and has had the opportunity to collaborate and create with artists such as Paloma McGregor, Millicent Johnnie, Megan Bascom, Megan Kendzior, Kate Weare, BODYART, and Kirstin Kapustik. Ms. Mas received her 200-hour yoga certification in 2013. Susan Hamburger (production manager) has designed the lighting for Urban Bush Women for over 13 years and has worked with such notable artists as Craig Harris, Lucinda Childs, Mark Rucker, and Mark Morris. Other notable dance companies she has designed for include Bessie-winner Nora Chipaumire, Troika Ranch,
Ellis Wood, Urban Tap, and Alice Farley.
She has also designed The Mystery of Edwin Drood, On The Town, A ChildÕs Christmas in Wales, Little Shop Of Horrors, Suddenly Last Summer, The Great Highway, West Side Story, The Cryptogram, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Waiting for Godot as well as many other plays and performance pieces. Ms. Hamburger is an adjunct professor at New York University and received her MFA from Yale School of Drama. For more information, please visit www.susanhamburger.com. Tendayi Kuumba (performer) is a graduate of North Atlanta High School of Performing Arts and Spelman College. Her training ranges from Buffalo Inner City Ballet, Ballethnic, Callanwolde Fine Arts, and Moving in the Spirit. She is a company member of Urban Bush Women, ASE Dance Theater Collective, and Axam Dance Theater Experience. She has also worked with Liberata Dance Theater, Marjani Forte of LOVE/FORTE Collective, T Lang Dance, and Nathan Trice/Rituals Performance ProjectÕs StrangeLove. She performs regularly as a resident jazz vocalist at the Williamsburg Music Center with the Gerry Eastman Quartet every Friday night. She gives thanks and blessings for life, love, breath, and the pursuit of happiness. Xavier PierceÕs (lighting designer) credits include Shakespeare in Love (Oregon Shakespeare Festival Festival, directed by Christopher Moore), Smart People (Arena Stage, directed by Seema Sueko), Harvey (The Guthrie, directed by Libby Appel), Fences (Long Wharf/McCarter Theatre co-production, directed by Phylicia Rashad), Fly (Florida Studio Theatre/Handy Award for ÒBest LightingÓ), Two Trains Running (Two Rivers Theatre, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson), A Raisin in the Sun (Westport Country Playhouse, directed by Phylicia Rashad), Common Enemy (Triad Stage, directed by Preston Lane), The Piano Lesson (Olney Theatre Center, directed by Jamil Jude), Two Trains Running (The Arden, directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges), and 4,000 Miles, Peter and the Starcatcher, and The Mountaintop (PlayMakers Repertory Company). Upcoming projects include Native Gardens (The Guthrie and Arena Stage, directed by Blake Robison) Blithe Spirit (The Guthrie, directed by David Ivers), and Othello (Oregon Shakespeare Festival directed by Bill Rauch). Mr. Pierce is a graduate of New York UniversityÕs Tisch School of the Arts and holds an MFA in stage design and film. For more information on Urban Bush Women, please visit: www.urbanbushwomen.org facebook.com/urbanbushwomen twitter.com/ubwdance instagram: ubwdance Photo (next spread): Urban Bush Women in Hair & Other Stories; photographer: Hayim Heron. UMS ARCHIVES This eveningÕs performance marks Urban Bush WomenÕs sixth performance under UMS auspices. The Company made its UMS debut in January 1993 at the Power Center, and most recently appeared under UMS auspices in March 2008 with Compagnie Jant-Bi in performances of Les cailles de la mmoire at the Power Center. URBAN BUSH WOMEN STAFF Founder & Visioning Partner / Jawole Willa Jo Zollar Organizational Advancement Partner / Renee Taylor-Foles Associate Artistic Directors & Associate BOLD Coordinators / Chanon Judson & Samantha Speis Producer / Michelle Coe Operations Manager / Tahnia Belle Company Manager / Cheri Stokes Program Assistant / Thamar Fedestin Finance Manager / Henry Liles Strategic Advisor, Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center / Jennifer Calienes Lighting Designer & Production Manager / Susan Hamburger Lighting Supervisor / Jose Santiago Stage Manager & Sound Supervisor / Ross Daniel Training Specialist / Bennalldra Williams URBAN BUSH WOMEN BOARD OF DIRECTORS Tammy Bormann / Chair Ashly Nikkole Davis Mary Jamis Yvahn Martin / Vice-Chair Ngozi Ogbonna Tanisha Ross Alice Sheppard Jennifer Smith / Treasurer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar Regina Bain / UBW National Advisory Board Theodore S. Berger / UBW National Advisory Board URBAN BUSH WOMEN CREATIVE CATALYST CIRCLE The UBW Creative Catalyst Circle invites the partnership of individuals, teams of individuals, and institutions who believe in the vision and mission of UBW and who wish to bring this vision to the stage through their philanthropic gifts. Alfred and Patricia Zollar Tracey and Phillip Riese Major funding for Urban Bush Women is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Doris Duke Charitable FoundationÐLeadership Grants Program; Ford Foundation; Howard Gilman Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation; Nathan Cummings Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; New Music USA; New York Community Trust; New York State Council on the Arts; Silicon Valley Community Foundation; and The Surdna Foundation. Hair & Other Stories was commissioned by the Virginia Arts Festival and had its proscenium stage premiere as part of the 2017 Festival at the Attucks Theatre, Norfolk, Virginia, on April 22, 2017. Hair & Other Stories (audience-engaged version) is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Junebug Productions in partnership with Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Dance Place, and NPN. For more information, please visit www.npnweb.org.
Hair & Other Stories is made possible by Engaging Dance Audiences which is administered by Dance/USA and made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; the Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund which is generously supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and administered by Lincoln Center;Êthe New England Foundation for the ArtsÕ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the MAP Fund, which is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and the Acton Family Giving and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. It is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Hair & Other Stories was made possible by residencies at Baruch College and City College Center for the Arts through the City of New York (CUNY) Dance Initiative, which receives major support from The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. CDI is spearheaded and administered by The Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College. Special thanks to Talvin Wilks for early dramaturgical support for Hair & Other Stories; Stephanie McKee and Laurie Uprichard for their continued support during the development of Hair & Other Stories; and to Jonathan D. Secor and Lai-Lin Robinson for shepherding Hair & Other Stories during their tenure at Urban Bush Women. Hair & Other Stories is informed by an ongoing partnership and work with The PeopleÕs Institute for Survival and BeyondÕs Understanding and Undoing Racism workshop; www.pisab.org. Publicity videography and photography by
Ramy Mam and Hayim Heron. TONIGHTÕS VICTORS FOR UMS: Michigan Medicine Ñ Toyota Supporters of this eveningÕs performance by Urban Bush Women. MAY WE ALSO RECOMMEND... 2/17 The GershwinsÕ Porgy and Bess 3/9Ð10 Company Wang Ramirez 3/23Ð24 Nederlands Dans Theater Tickets available at www.ums.org. ON THE EDUCATION HORIZONÉ 1/13 You Can Dance: Urban Bush Women Hair Party (Ann Arbor Y, 400 W. Washington Street, 1:30 pm) 1/13 Urban Bush Women Hair Party (Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History,
315 E. Warren Avenue, Detroit, 2:00 pm) 1/18 No Safety Net Keynote Event with the Penny Stamps Speaker Series: A Conversation with Claudia Rankine and P. Carl (Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty Street, 5:10 pm) 1/22 FRAME: A Salon Series on Visual Art, Performance, and Identity (U-M Institute for the Humanities Atrium, 202 S. Thayer Street,
7:00 pm) Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Hair & Other Stories A production of