Urban Bush Women Company Residency

Urban Bush Women in WOMEN’S RESISTANCE. Photo by Hayim Heron.

Year: 2022-2023
DanceForce Member: Jacquie Davis
DanceForce Partnering Members: D. Chase Angier, Elaine Gardner
Artists: Urban Bush Women
Community Partners: Alfred University; Pick of the Crop Dance; University of Rochester
Audience: 649
Counties: Alleghany; Erie; Monroe

Urban Bush Women (co-artistic directors Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis) were in residence in Western New York for almost a week. DanceForce partners D, Chase Angier (Alfred University) and Elaine Gardner (Buffalo) contributed their 2022-2023 allocations to make it possible for a geographically wide audience to see the company in full live performances on September 16 and 17, 2022. By combining resources, the Western New York region had access to a major company that would otherwise be out of reach financially. An additional member, Kim Engel (Albany) was the lead applicant for a successful ArtsCONNECT grant and full funding was received from them for this UBW project. The additional funding was very important.

The company performed their 25th Anniversary: Legacy+Lineage+Liberation program, perfect as a follow-up to the 2021-22 teaching project with master teachers from Guinea West Africa, Youssouf Koumbassa and Mouminatou Camara, connecting the legacy and influences of dance and music of the African diaspora with contemporary concert choreography.

Most of the classes that the company taught were for general students, not dance majors, all of whom would later attend a company performance. Additionally, a busload of students and faculty attended from Alfred University and they had an opportunity for a lively discussion with company members afterward. In addition to the general public, students from a number of other colleges and public schools also attended.