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Cal Performances

Urban Bush Women

December 1–3
Zellerbach Playhouse

Courtesy of artist

The formidable Brooklyn-based performance ensemble Urban Bush Women visits with Hair & Other Stories, an evening-length dance-theater work exploring race, identity, and concepts of beauty through the lens of Black women’s hair. Inspired by founder and 2021 MacArthur Fellow Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s HairStories (2001), the participatory performance is a work of activism, awakening, and engagement, asking its audience to move, to comment, to reflect, and to bear witness. Choreographed and directed by co-artistic directors Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra Speis, Hair & Other Stories was developed from personal narratives culled from participants in “Hair Party” sessions the company held with women across the country, as well as through the company’s ongoing collaboration with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond’s “Undoing Racism” workshops. “The Urban Bush Women are committed, triple-threat performers who dance, sing, and act with a sometimes searing sense of truthfulness” (The New York Times).