Urban Bush Women Bring New and Classic Dance Works to the UB Center for the Arts

“Legacy + Lineage + Liberation,” celebrates the power of women and women of color through modern dance.

As part of its multifaceted 40th Anniversary celebration and 2024 season launch, the award-winning Urban Bush Women (UBW), a Black women-led theatrical dance company and social activism ensemble, presents the Legacy + Lineage + Liberation tour with a residency and performance at The University at Buffalo Center for the Arts (UBCFA). The performance takes place on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 7:30 P.M. for one show only, exploring issues of equity, justice, and identity with iconic works by UBW founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and new pieces by artistic directors Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra Speis. Tickets are $30.

“This extraordinary event is a collaboration with our highly regarded Department of Theatre and Dance, “said Jamie Enser, UBCFA’s executive director. “Through the company’s residency we provide our talented students the opportunity to learn from and interact with consummate professionals, and also offer the greater community a dance performance that is the culmination of 40 years of creativity that transcends genres or labels.”

Audiences are offered Urban Bush Women’s great sense of musicality, and reflection inside of empathy and joy, and a gracious invitation to respond to what they’re experiencing–and to leave the theater energized and inspired.  Co-presented with UB’s Department of Theatre and Dance, the engagement also features a residency program with university students and offering community workshops.

“Dating back to the 80s and 90s, our ensemble has been the barrier conduit in the sharing of legacy, culture, and futuring,” said Diarra Speis, co-artistic director.

We’ve held history and education through storytelling and the celebration of the many people that have been a part of Urban Bush Women.

Each piece gives multiple dimensions of life that resonate in this time of reflection around equity and justice, and that lift up Black lives in inspiring ways. Works include but are not limited to:

Give Your Hands to Struggle lyrically honors leaders from the Civil Rights era; 

Women’s Resistance fuses power and grace in a call to collective action around truths that bind us all; 

I Don’t Know, but I Been Told, If You Keep on Dancin’ You Never Grow Old is an energetic mash-up of different dance forms that came out of Black neighborhoods and features a live drummer.

Haint Blu: Episode 1 – Listenin’ and Dreamin’: Do You Hear Me Now? is a dance-theater work seeped in memory and magic using performance as a center and source of healing, taking us through movement into stillness and rest.

Incorporating the company’s unique blend of musicality and movement, the program features live accompaniment by percussionist Lucianna Padmore and guitarist/singer Grace Galu Kalambay.

Tickets are priced at $30 and can be purchased online at,  or in person at the Center for the Arts Box Office Tuesdays through Fridays from 12-6 p.m. Discounts are available for groups 8 or more, students and UB employees and alums. For more ticket information call 716-645-2787 or

For additional information on upcoming shows, to buy tickets, or view the full schedule of programs and activities in the UB Center for the Arts, visit the events and exhibitions web page.

The post Urban Bush Women Bring New and Classic Dance Works to the UB Center for the Arts appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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