News

January 21, 2008

Lafayette Welcomes Urban Bush Women and Jant-Bi Dance Troupes

They will perform The Scales of Memory Feb. 12

The Urban Bush Women company makes its fourth appearance at Lafayette in an intriguing collaboration with Jant-Bi, the acclaimed all-male troupe from S�n�gal, with a new work called The Scales of Memory. The performance will take place 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 in the Williams Center for the Arts.

Tickets are free for students, $4 for faculty and staff, and $22 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the William Center box office at x5009. The final performance in this year’s Footlights series is the Paul Taylor Dance Company on April 8 for $25.

The dance troupes will also present a master class on Monday, Feb. 12. It is free and open to the public. For information call 610-330-5010.

Founded in 1984 by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women is a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. The group weaves contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of African Americans and the African Diaspora, exploring the transformation of struggle and suffering into the bittersweet joy of survival. The company has received many honors including a 1992 New York Dance and Performance Award “Bessie”; the 1994 Capezio Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance; and 1998 and 2004 Doris Duke Awards for New Work from the American Dance Festival.

Jant-Bi is part of the �cole des Sables, the International Center for Traditional and Contemporary African Dance. The school’s objective is to educate African dancers and to function as a meeting point and a place of exchange for dancers and choreographers from the African Diaspora and from different cultures throughout the world. Based on this background, the company reflects the center’s work and policy, and encourages choreographers from different countries to fuse their culture and dance styles with the essence of African dance.

As a network, Jant-Bi is developing internationally and discovers new artistic approaches by setting up exchange programs with other dance institutions throughout the world and generating new forms of expression that are based on these programs. They also do this by creating ‘fusion projects’ that link dance with other art forms, such as theater, and organizing international conferences to discuss dance as it is deployed in the fields of the arts, society, education, health and research.

This performance is supported by an ArtsCONNECT grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. ArtsCONNECT is made possible through major funding from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Performing Arts Touring Program with support from Capezio/Ballet Makers Dance Foundation and Dominion Foundation. It is also supported by a grant from the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The 2007-2008 Performance Series at Lafayette College is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Josephine Chidsey Williams Endowment, J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Fund, the Croasdale Fund, the Class of ’73 Fund, the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour; the F.M. Kirby Foundation, the Dexter and Dorothy Baker Foundation, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

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