From left, Tracy Vogt, Odara Jabali Nash, Erin Barnett and Teneise Mitchell.
Photo by Lois Greenfield

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College kicks off its 2010-2011 World of Dance series on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 8:00 p.m. with Philadelphia-based company Philadanco, performing a program that includes the New York premiere of “By Way of the Funk,” a new piece created by Brooklyn’s own Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founding and artistic director of Urban Bush Women.

The evening’s repertoire includes Talley Beatty’s “A Rag, a Bone, and a Hank of Hair,” a ballet reconstructed by Kim Y. Bears-Bailey; Rennie Harris’ “Philadelphia Experiment,” a hip hop retrospective of the city of Philadelphia; The New York premiere of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s “By Way of the Funk,” which harnesses the energy and culture of funk music in a joyous celebration of the 40 years of Philadanco’s existence; and Christopher L. Huggins’ “Enemy Behind the Gate,” explores the enemies in our midst and is set to the music of Steve Reich.

Founded in 1970 by Joan Myers Brown, Philadanco is a community arts organization dedicated to presenting the highest quality of professional dance performance and improving the skills of emerging and professional dancers and choreographers in a nurturing environment, while increasing the appreciation of dance among its many communities.

The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) is recognized for its artistic integrity, superbly trained dancers and electrifying performances. The company is celebrated for its innovation, creativity and preservation of predominantly African American traditions in dance.

Philadanco’s past repertoire includes works by Talley Beatty, Ronald K. Brown, Donald Byrd, George Faison, and Gene Hill Sagan. The company of 17 dancers is a resident company at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, and performs nationally and internationally about 40 weeks each year.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Ms. Zollar trained with Joseph Stevenson, a student of the legendary Katherine Dunham. After earning her B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, she moved to New York City in 1980 to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion.

Four years later, she founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. Jawole holds an M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University and is the Nancy Smith Fichter tenured professor in FSU’s Dance Department.

Tommie Washeed Evans of the Philadelphia-based company Philadanco.
Photo by Lois Greenfield
Photo by Lois Greenfield

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