Siti Symposium
Public Talk
SITI & Urban Bush Women

Talking Into the Future

January 12, 2021

This event occurred as part of the 20/21 Public Talk season. This is an archived view.

Imagining the future of theatrical ensemble work with arts leaders.

20/21 Public Talk

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SITI Company
Anne Bogart, co-artistic director
Ellen Lauren, co-artistic director

Urban Bush Women
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Founding Artistic Director/Chief Visioning Partner
Chanon Judson, Artistic Director, Urban Bush Women

Hopkins Center for the Arts
Mary Lou Aleskie, Howard L. Gilman '44 Director (Moderator)

Recognized for their pioneering repertoire, collaborative foundation, and groundbreaking technique, SITI Company has been heralded as one of the most innovative and successful American theater ensembles working today. After three decades of virtuosic theater-making, the Company's full-time producing ensemble prepares for its final bow. This unparalleled team of artists looks forward to the future of their field through a series of dialogues and dynamic conversation with artistic collaborators and peers. SITI aims to create a "gymnasium for the soul," to ask bold questions, unite local and global voices, and shine a light on the next generation of artists and theater makers.

The Hopkins Center is honored to present the first conversation in the series, which pairs SITI's co-artistic directors Anne Bogart and Ellen Lauren with Urban Bush Women's Founding Artistic Director/Chief Visioning Partner Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Artistic Director Chanon Judson. These innovative female leaders discuss where both companies are in their respective life cycles, their relationships to the postmodern perspective, and examine how the ensemble structure responds to the qualities of leadership needed for the future. The dialogue poses the questions: "Who is at the table?" "Who should be included that isn't?" and "How do we challenge the old patterns of leadership?"

About SITI Company

SITI Company is an ensemble-based theater company whose three ongoing components are the creation of new work, the training of young theater artists, and a commitment to international cultural exchange. SITI was founded in 1992 by Anne Bogart, Tadashi Suzuki and a group of like-minded artists to redefine and revitalize contemporary theater in the United States through an emphasis on international collaboration.

Built on the bedrock of ensemble, the company believes that through the practice of collaboration, a group of artists working together over time can have a significant impact on both contemporary theater and the world at large. Through performances, educational programs, and collaborations with other artists and thinkers, SITI Company continues to challenge the status quo, to train to achieve artistic excellence in every aspect of its work, and to offer new ways of seeing and of being as both artists and as global citizens.

Anne Bogart is one of the three Co-Artistic Directors of the SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992.
Ellen Lauren is a founding member and a co-artistic director of the SITI Company.

Read more about the SITI company members >

About Urban Bush Women

Urban Bush Women (UBW) burst onto the dance scene in 1984, with bold, demanding and exciting works that brought under-told stories to life through the art and vision of its award-winning Founder, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. The Company weaves contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora under the organizational artistic direction of Zollar and Co-Artistic Directors of the Company, Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis.

Off the concert stage, UBW has developed an extensive community engagement program, BOLD (Builders, Organizers, and Leaders through Dance). UBW's largest community engagement project is its Summer Leadership Institute (SLI). This 10-day intensive training program connects dance professionals with community-based artists/activists in a learning experience to leverage the arts as a vehicle for civic engagement.

UBW launched the Choreographic Center Initiative (CCI) in January 2016. The CCI supports the development of Women+ choreographers of color and other underheard voices.

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change.
Chanon Judson joined the critically acclaimed Urban Bush Women in 2001.

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