New York-based dance company Urban Bush Women (UBW) will make its return to The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago to perform the Midwest premiere of Walking with ’Trane, following its 30th anniversary performances at The Dance Center in spring 2015.

Walking with ’Trane, created by UBW’s artistic director, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, is a suite of works based on the music and legacy of jazz pioneer John Coltrane. Grammy Award-winning pianist George Caldwell provides live accompaniment with a reinterpretation of Coltrane’s album A Love Supreme.

In 2014, The Dance Center was the sole Chicago recipient of a 2014 Exploration grant, through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Building Demand for the Arts program, to work with Zollar to find ways to connect with jazz audiences and artists; Columbia College Chicago dance, music and theatre students and faculty; and students and artists in other disciplines to cultivate new demand for contemporary dance and jazz music through explorations of their intersections. Zollar and several UBW dancers have spent several weeks in Chicago exploring these connections during the past year.

Founded in 1984, Urban Bush Women’s enduring mission is to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. With a woman-centered perspective, and as members of the African Diaspora community, UBW seeks to create a more equitable balance of power in the dance world and beyond.

A post-performance conversation with the artists will take place Thursday, February 18, and a pre-performance talk with Zollar will take place Friday, February 19 at 6:30 p.m., both are free to ticket holders. Additional residency activities with community partners and Columbia College Chicago students will take place throughout the week leading up to the performance weekend. 

Performances of "Walking with 'Trane" take place February 18–20, 2016, Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Ave. For more information, call 312-369-8330 or visit colum.edu/dancecenterpresents.

Urban Bush Women to Channel John Coltrane in Return to Columbia College Dance Center

New York-based dance company Urban Bush Women (photo by Julieta Cervantes).

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