Urban Bush Women - Sept. 20 & 21

group of six individuals jumping in air with an arm(s) raised

Prime Performance - Tuesday & Wednesday, September 20 & 21, 2022 at 7:30pm
Please note: 
Wednesday evening's performance is sold out.

Described by The New York Times as “...triple-threat performers who dance, sing and act with a sometimes searing sense of truthfulness,” this Brooklyn-based performance ensemble and dance company is celebrating their 35+ anniversary with a Legacy + Lineage + Liberation program.  Celebrating the power of Women(+), these iconic works give multiple dimensions of life that resonate in this time of reflection around equity and justice, and lift up Black lives in inspiring ways.

  • Purchase individual tickets for 9/20 here and for 9/21 here
  • Advance tickets: $15 general public / $10 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff
  • Day of show tickets: $20 general public / $15 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff
  • Dance in Albany packages available at 10%-50% (see info on the left)
  • Dance in Albany packages through The Egg Box Office
  • Please read our current COVID safety protocols

Company's web site  Program

Presented in partnership with The Egg as part of the Dance in Albany series. This engagement of Urban Bush Women is funded through the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Support is also provided by the NYS DanceForce, a partnership program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the New York State Governor and Legislature. Additional support provided by the University at Albany Foundation Dance Alliance and University Auxiliary Services. (Photos by Ian Douglas and Hayim Heron)

The performing arts centers at the University at Albany and The Egg are pleased to present Urban Bush Women as the first company in the 2022-23 Dance in Albany series.  There will be two performances at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the uptown University at Albany campus located at 1400 Washington Avenue. Those performances are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, September 20 & 21, 2022 at 7:30pm.  They are part of a fall East Coast tour by the company which includes engagements at Point Park University in Pennsylvania, SUNY Brockport in New York, Rowan University in New Jersey, Emory University in Georgia, UNC Greensboro in North Carolina and Keene State College in New Hampshire.

Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women (UBW) is a Brooklyn based performance ensemble and dance company under the artistic direction of Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra (Samantha) Speis. UBW seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories to light through dance. The company does this from a woman-centered perspective and as members of the African Diaspora community to create a more equitable balance of power in the dance world and beyond.  As UBW celebrates its nearly 40-year legacy, the company continues to use dance as both the message and the medium to bring together diverse audiences through innovative choreography, community collaboration and artistic leadership development.

UBW has been described by The New York Times as “...triple-threat performers who dance, sing and act with a sometimes searing sense of truthfulness.”

UBW will present its mixed repertory program, Legacy + Lineage + Liberation, at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center. Created to celebrate the power of Women(+) in a program of classic works that transcend genres and amplify the voices of Women(+) of color, these iconic works by the UBW founder give multiple dimensions of life that resonate in this time of reflection around equity and justice, and that lift up Black lives in inspiring ways. 

Repertory will include: Give Your Hands to Struggle, a spiritual tribute to the courageous individuals whose leadership during the Civil Rights Movement contributed to a better future for us all; Women’s Resistance, a call to collective action which vibrantly embodies Women’s power, resilience and relentless pursuit for liberation and justice; and I Don’t Know, but I Been Told, If You Keep on Dancin’ You Never Grow Old, a celebration of dance traditions that came out of Black neighborhoods and communities. In addition, an excerpt of Haint Blu (proscenium version), a new work by Co-Artistic Directors Judson and Speis which is inspired by the site responsive version of the work, will round out the program. Known as the color that Southern families paint their front porches to ward off bad spirits, the work is an embodied look into familial lines and the movements, histories and stories of elders and ancestors.

The company’s program will be performed in the UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s “In the Raw” format which features dance companies in studio performances of their work.  This format strips down the production values so that the essence of the dance is brought to the forefront.  “When you watch great dancers from a distance — say two dozen rows back from the proscenium stage — you admire their craft. When you watch them from a few feet away, you fall in love,” claimed Tresca Weinstein in the Times Union about the inaugural performance of the series. With just over 100 seats available, the setting is intimate, the performers are up close and personal and there is ample opportunity for dialogue between artists and audience. The artists will provide insights into the choreographic works prior to and/or after they are shown.

Upcoming performances in the Dance in Albany series include MOMIX (October 6), Limón Dance Company (October 21), La Serpiente (November 13), ODC/Dance (January 27), New York Theatre Ballet with Bridgman|Packer Dance (February 17), Paul Taylor Dance Company (March 4), Dublin Irish Dance (March 18), Savion Glover (April 22) and Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company (May 13).

Dance enthusiasts have the opportunity to purchase a package with a ticket to each of ten performances for $130, a savings of more than 50% off the individual prices. Subscriptions that include six and four performances will also be available at a savings of 25% and 10%, respectively. Packages can only be purchased through The Egg Box Office in person at the Empire State Plaza location or by telephone at (518) 473-1845.