Lula Washington Dance Theatre
Daring Choreography Rooted In Culture.
ROOTS & INFLUENCES: USA, West Africa
Led by award-winning choreographer Lula Washington, this L.A.-based contemporary ensemble is known for daring choreography rooted in African-American culture that reflects on social and political issues. LWDT returns to the Ordway for a third time, with an exciting program of innovative and powerful modern dance, showcasing the work of Lula Washington and other renowned African-American choreographers.
“Displays a sure theatricality that is captivating.” – New York Times
“Smart, strong and energetic…an explosion of style and attitude.” – New Jersey Recorder
LULA WASHINGTON (Founder/Artistic Director/Choreographer)
Lula grew up in the Nickerson Gardens Housing Projects in Watts, CA. She was inspired to dance after a teacher took her to see the Alvin Ailey dance company at UCLA. She later applied to study dance there but was rejected for being too old, at age 22, to start dance training. She appealed and was admitted, becoming one of UCLA’s most successful dance graduates. While still a student, she danced in the Academy Awards telecast and in the films Funny Lady with Barbra Streisand, Sgt. Pepper with the Bee Gees, and King Kong. Lula choreographed The Little Mermaid and James Cameron’s Avatar.
Lula maintains a community-based dance school in South Los Angeles that offers dance training for inner-city youth. Her work was honored by the Minerva Awards, given by former California First Lady Maria Shriver. Other awards include the Spelman College National Alumni Association’s Sisters Award, the National Education Association’s Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award, the LA Women’s Theater Festival’s Integrity Award, 2010 Accolades Award, and the Ann C. Rosenfield Distinguished Community Partnership Prize; the 2011 Community Icon Award; the National Dance Association Heritage Award and the Artistic Vision Award from The Black Business Association.
Ordway Extra: Twin Cities Harambee
Friday, October 30 | 6:30pm, Ordway Music Theater
Free for Lula Washington Dance Theatre ticket holders
Twin Cities Harambee Youth will take the stage prior to the Lula Washington Dance Theatre performance to perform an original piece that is grounded in a positive identification of African American cultural traditions as communicated through narrative movement and music.
Twin Cities Harambee is a program that combines artistic expression, cultural learning, dance and musical training for youth in the Twin Cities from Ordway’s collaborating organizations: LoveWorks Academy for Visual & Performing Arts, Voice of Culture Drum + Dance, and WE WIN Institute.
Additionally, the participating youth and families will engage as audience members through subsidized tickets and transportation. Funding for the entire program is made possible through a generous grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Arts Access Fund.