Bush Women Gather to Celebrate Survival and Triumph


“Voices from the Bush: Urban Bush Women,” Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s 20th anniversary program, demonstrated how survival takes a certain toughness, focus, ingenuity, emotional sincerity, and serious purpose. Delicacies, a solo by and for founding member Robin Marie Wilson, displayed graceful control in the face of all challenges. Legendary actress Laurie Carlos, who joined Urban Bush Women in ’86, contributed raw in the breath of RAW WINGS Wings, which was nothing short of oceanic, Carlos’s plush, storytelling body an antenna of flesh, transmitting a multitude of signals. In Convoys, Curfews, and Roadblocks, the forceful Nora Chipaumire, a 2003 UBW recruit, used a square of red light as a harrowing place of purging and, paradoxically, as the reclamation of strength. Christal Brown, Shani Collins, Treva Offutt, and Trebien Pollard, longtime members of Zollar’s troupe, also brought effective works that spoke of struggle and healing, and Carol Mullins’s lighting once again proved a sturdy, dynamic partner for dance.

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