Jawole Willa Jo

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
Tallahassee, FL
2008 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by The Wynn Family Foundation.

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is a choreographer who founded the Urban Bush Women (UBW) in 1984. An ensemble of women dancers of the African Diaspora, UBW combines contemporary dance, music, and text with African and African American traditions “to bring the untold . . . histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance.” The company is committed to community-based work, running a summer institute for young dancers at its home in Brooklyn. Zollar creates work for the company as well as other ensembles such as the Alvin Ailey American dance Theater, Ballet Arizona, and Philadanco. For the past four years, Zollar and UBW have been collaborating with Jant-Bi, an all-male ensemble from Senegal.

Portrait photo courtesy © Rick McCullough 2008.
  • Artwork by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
    Les écailles de la mémoire (the scales of memory), a collaboration between Urban Bush Women and Compagnie Jant-Bi of Senegal, 2008; photo courtesy © Jon Nalon
Artwork by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar