Rashida Bumbray
Choreographer and Performer
Brooklyn, NY
2019 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Rashida Bumbray is an accomplished performance artist, choreographer, and curator whose artistic practice draws from traditional African-American vernacular and folk forms, including ring shouts, hoofing, and blues improvisation.  Like Zora Neale Hurston and Katherine Dunham, Bumbray brings a curatorial/ethnographic lens to her work. Bumbray collaborates with musicians and visual artists; she is in an ongoing collaboration with Simone Leigh that is inspired by Isamu Noguchi and Martha Graham’s collaborative efforts.   

Bumbray’s Run Mary Run ring shout is featured in Common’s short film “Black America Again,” directed by Bradford Young.  Her work has been presented by Tate Modern (Aluminum, with Simone Leigh), The New Museum (Motherless Child Set, with Simone Leigh), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Mastry: Kerry James Marshall, A Creative Convening), Harlem Stage (Little Red Rooster in A Red House), Project Row Houses (Shout House for Katrina), Central Park SummerStage, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diasporic Institute, and Brooklyn Children’s Museum. She received the Harlem Stage Fund for New Work grant.

Bumbray is one of the inaugural social practice artists-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this year.  She was nominated for the Bessie Award (New York Dance & Performance Award) for “Outstanding Emerging Choreographer.” Bumbray’s Run Mary Run was on the New York Times’ list of Best Concerts for 2012 and featured in Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran’s BLEED at the 2012 Whitney Biennial.  A graduate of Oberlin College, Bumbray received an MA in Africana Studies from New York University. She publishes essays on contemporary art, performance, cultural studies and comparative literature.

Portrait photo courtesy artist.

  • Artwork by Rashida Bumbray
    RUN MARY RUN, May 13, 2012. Rashida Bumbray & the Dance Diaspora Collective. Whitney Museum of American Art. Presented as part of BLEED, Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran’s 5 Day residency for the 2012 Whitney Biennial. Photo by John Rogers.
  • Artwork by Rashida Bumbray
    Aluminum, 2016. In collaboration with Simone Leigh. Tate Modern, London, Britain.
Artwork by Rashida Bumbray Artwork by Rashida Bumbray