CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 3, 2003
(NOTE TO PRINT AND WEB EDITORS: Images are available for download at http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher/media.html
(Photo: Urban Bush Women Shadow's Child; by Mike Van Sleen)
Urban Bush Women Collaborate With Mozambique Artists In Hancher-Commissioned
Shadows Child, Jan. 24
Child, a collaboration between Urban Bush Women with the National Song
and Dance Company of Mozambique, will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan.
24 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.
During a week-long UI residency -- part of the UIs observation of Martin
Luther King Jr. Week -- artistic director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and members
of the company will participate in a variety of additional events:
-- a community sing, as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Convocation
at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, in the second floor ballroom on the Iowa Memorial
-- Jan. 21 and 22 workshops at the High School Alternative Center in Iowa
City and Metro High School in Cedar Rapids;
-- a matinee performance for area school groups on Hanchers Stage Door
educational series; and
-- an appearance on the Iowa Talks program on UI radio station
WSUI, AM 910, at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, live from the Java House in downtown
Co-commissioned by Hancher, Shadows Child was premiered
in July at the Lincoln Center Festival. The production depicts the tribulations
and self-discoveries of a young girl from Mozambique coping with a move to
Tallahassee, Fla., where her deep black skin and foreign customs are a barrier
to assimilation into the local African-American community -- she even jumps
rope in an unfamiliar way. Teased by both white and black children, she seeks
refuge in the woods at night-time, forming friendships with magical nocturnal
creatures and another young girl who is allergic to the sun.
Karen Campbell wrote in the Boston Globe, In the dance theater piece
Shadow's Child, about a young girl from Mozambique, vivid masks
and huge headdress-style puppets with long waving limbs conjure mystical night
creatures. Tales unfold through traditional African songs that segue into
music summoning the heat of the blues and the energy of American pop. The
sensuous, weighted dances of Mozambique rub noses with the high spirits of
hip-hop and contemporary modern dance.
Its a heady fusion of influences, but its all grist for
the mill of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. For the Bessie Award-winning artistic
director of Urban Bush Women, dance is a means of telling stories. She uses
movement, music, text, and a vivid theatrical sense to create work in the
context of African-American culture and spiritual traditions. And often, it
is designed not only to entertain but to serve as a catalyst for social awareness
In response to the premiere, Anna Kisselgoff wrote in the New York Times,
Charm may be a devalued word, but it retains its most positive resonance
when applied to Shadow's Child, a joyful fable.
Zollar established Urban Bush Women in 1984 to synthesize the African-American
spiritual influences of her upbringing with dance and theater. Her work with
the company has earned ongoing support from the National Endowment for the
Arts and a New York Bessie Award.
Her work has been presented at venues including Spoleto USA, the Next Wave
Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the public television series
"Alive From Off-Center." She is now also an artist-in-residence
at Florida State University.
Hancher has presented Zollars Urban Bush Women on several occasions,
including their Praise House and the world premiere of her Bones
and Ash, and the Hancher Millennium Festival commissioned her C
Sharp Street -- B Flat Avenue for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
Peggy Scholz is the sponsor of the performance and the commission, through
The University of Iowa Foundation.
Tickets to Shadows Child are $32, $30 and $27 ($26.50 and
$10 for UI students; $26.50, $24 and $21.60 for senior citizens; and half
price for audience members 17 and younger) from the Hancher box office.
Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays
and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160.
Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with
special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319)
335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who
use that technology.
Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through
Hanchers website:< http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher >.
Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students
may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff
may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may
be requested by e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa>.
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