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Walking with Trane, Urban Bush Women. Photo by Gennia Cui.

Questions of Practice: Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar on Artistic Evolution and Risk

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, choreographer and founding artistic director of Urban Bush Women, discusses her evolution as a choreographer and the importance of embracing risk throughout her practice. “Risk exists on the edge of failure…so if you’re not right on that edge of failure…you’re not in a place of risk. Living on that edge and learning from that edge to me is a really exciting place,” she says.

Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar on artistic evolution and risk. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on February 3, 2016.

Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is founding artistic director of Urban Bush Women (UBW), a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. In addition to her work with UBW, Zollar has created works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Virginia Commonwealth University, among others; and with collaborators including Nora Chipaumire and Compagnie Jant-Bi. A professor of dance at Florida State University, her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and a USA Wynn Fellowship.