Bios Germaine Acogny (dancer) Senegalese and French, she founded her first dance studio in Dakar, 1968. Thanks to the influence of the dances she had inherited from her grandmother, a Yoruba priest, and to her studies of traditional African dances and Occidental dances (classic, modern) in Paris and New York, Germaine Acogny created her own technique of Modern African Dance and is considered as the “mother of Contemporary African dance”

Between 1977 and 1982 she was artistic director of MUDRA AFRIQUE (Dakar), created by Maurice Béjart and the Senegalese president and poet Leopold Sedar Senghor.

In 1980, she writes her first book untitled “African Dance”, edited in three languages.

Once Mudra Afrique had closed, she moved to Brussels to work with Maurice Béjart’s company, she organised international African dance workshops, which showed a great success among the European audience. This same experience was repeated in Africa, in Fanghoumé, a small village in Casamance, in the south of Senegal. People from Europe and all over the world travelled to this place.

Germaine Acogny dances, choreographs and teaches on all continents, becoming a real emissary of the African Dance and Culture. Her work and personality is highly respected in Africa and worldwide.

Together with her husband, Helmut Vogt, she sets up in 1985, in Toulouse, France, the “Studio-Ecole-Ballet-Théâtre du 3è Monde”.

After having been away from the stage for several years, Germaine Acogny has her come back as a dancer and choreographer in 1987. She works with Peter Gabriel for a video clip and creates her solo “Sahel”. Other choreographies follow.

Her solo “YE’OU”, created in 1988, tours on all continents, wins the “London Contemporary Dance and Performance Award” in 1991.

In 1995, she decides to go back to Senegal, with the aim of creating an International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary African Dances : a meeting point for dancers coming from Africa and from all over the world, a place of professional education for dancers from the whole of Africa with the aim to guide them towards a Contemporary African Dance.

The construction of the Centre - also called « L’Ecole des Sables » - was achieved in June 2004. But already, every year since 1998, three-month professional workshops for African dancers and choreographers are organised. About 30 dancers from all over Africa meet, exchange and work together each time.

In 1997, Germaine Acogny becomes Artistic Director of the « Dance section of Afrique en Creations » in Paris, a function she held until September 2000. During this time, she is responsible for the Contemporary African Dance Competition, important platform for young African choreographers.

In 2005 she is invited as regent at UCLA (University of Los Angeles).

Her latest solo “Tchouraï”, created in 2001, is still touring successfully. She has presented it in France (Theatre de la Ville, Paris), Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Italy, the US (New York, Chicago) and in China (first Contemporary Dance Festival in Shanghai).

In 2003/2004, she created the piece “Fagaala”, for her company JANT-BI, based on the genocide in Rwanda. It is co-choreographed with Kota Yamazaki/Japan for 7 African dancers, a fusion between Butoh and traditional and contemporary African Dances. It had already three very successful tours in the US, and was performed in Europe, Australia (Melbourne Festival, Sydney Opera House) and in Japan.

In 2007, she and Kota Yamazaki receive a BESSIE Award (New York Dance and Performance Award) for “Fagaala”.

Later that year, the great challenge was the choreographic part of the OPERA du SAHEL, an important African creation, initiated and produced by the Prince Claus Fund in Holland. It premiered in Bamako in February 2007 followed by performances in Amsterdam and Paris.

CARMEN DELAVALLADE (dancer) first appeared in NYC with the Lester Horton Dance Theatre and subsequently made her Broadway debut with Alvin Ailey in House of Flowers. She has appeared in a number of films for Twentieth Century Fox including Carmen Jones (1954), in which she danced with Ailey and Jack Cole. As a dancer she has had ballets created for her by Alvin Ailey, Lester Horton, John Butler, Glen Tetley, Agnes De Mille, Geoffrey Holder, Donald McKayle, Louis Johnson and Tally Beatty. She was a principle dancer with the Metropolitan Opera, a guest artist with American Ballet Theater and a soloist with the NYC Opera. At Yale she taught movement classes for actors and eventually became a member of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard. She has choreographed for Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joyce Trisler, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and a number of operas including the landmark production of Porgy & Bess at the Metropolitan Opera House. She continues to do stage and film projects, such as Oscar Wilde’s Salome with Al Pacino, and in John Sayles’ film Lone Star. She received the Dance Magazine Award in 1964 and an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music in 1994. Carmen received a 2000 "Bessie" Award for Sustained Achievement in Performance.

Dianne McIntyre (dancer), dancer/choreographer/director/teacher was honored with the American Dance Festival 2008 Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Chair for Distinguished Teaching and a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography.

She has developed a distinctive body of work that features an idiosyncratic use of music, a dynamic movement style, and important choreographic explorations of lives of Black Americans. In the 1970’s McIntyre emerged, among African Americans, as a new voice in the front line of modern dance. In the 21st century she continues to expand that voice uniting theatrical nuances with her dance.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, McIntyre began studying ballet with Elaine Gibbs at age four. Always choreographing, she developed her first production at the age of seven. As a teenager, she studied modern dance with Virginia Dryansky. She received a BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University under Helen Alkire and studied there with Vickie Blaine, James Payton, Lucy Venable and guest artists Anna Sokolow and Viola Farber.

Moving to New York City in 1970, she danced with Gus Solomons Company/Dance for two years. Then, supported by Clark Center director Louise Roberts, McIntyre began her company of dancers and musicians. From 1972 to 1988, she directed her company and school, Sounds in Motion, in Harlem, New York City.

McIntyre’s study with Ohio State University guest teacher Judith Dunn and her collaborator, trumpeter Bill Dixon, inspired McIntyre’s work with musicians. Collaborating with musicians in the vanguard of their field, McIntyre led the company in performances in all major dance venues of the U.S., including the Joyce Theater, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Kennedy Center, as well as in Europe. Signature choreography for the company includes: Take-Off from a Forced Landing (1984), based on her mother’s stories as an aviator; Life’s Force (1979), a lively interaction of vibrant music and moves; Their Eyes Were Watching God (1986), based on the Zora Neale Hurston novel; and, Mississippi Talks, Ohio Walks (1984), nightclub vignettes of dance and Olu Dara’s Okra Orchestra. McIntyre’s Sounds in Motion studio became a Harlem institution in the 1970’s and 80’s because of the creative excellence of the company and school, and because the studio served as a gathering place for artists – musicians, visual artists, poets, and theatre artists. There, through dance classes and choreographic showcases, she mentored many who became cutting-edge dance artists. Her own dancing has been described by critics as “electrifying,” “mesmerizing,” “a mastery of rhythm and dynamics,” “a rarity – a dancer who gives the appearance of having been born dancing.”

In 1988 Dianne McIntyre dissolved Sounds in Motion to pursue an independent choreographic career. With successive companies she has continued memorable dance/music projects with Olu Dara, Lester Bowie, Don Pullen, Hannibal and others. Her dance works have also been set on Alvin American Dance Theater and Ailey II, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, Philadanco, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre, Dancing Wheels and numerous college groups. She has been a guest teacher at countless university programs and for American Dance Festival, Jacobs Pillow, and Bates Summer Dance Festival. In 1991 McIntyre researched and recreated Helen Tamiris’ 1937 masterpiece, How Long, Brethren?, bringing renewed interest in the choreographer’s work.

For theatre her work has appeared on Broadway, London’s West End, Off-Broadway, and 20 regional theatres. McIntyre’s association with theatre led her to create and direct her own “dance-driven dramas” that have appeared in both dance and regional theatre venues – five commissioned by George Mason University’s Theater of the First Amendment. These works include I Could Stop on a Dime and Get Ten Cents Change (1996 – her father’s stories of Cleveland), Black and White on Brown (2004 - Illinois students’ reflections on race), Daughter of a Buffalo Soldier (2005- remembrances of a pioneer dance artist), Open the Door, Virginia! (2005 – Virginia school protest and school closings), Peaches, Plums and Pontifications! (2008 – Mississippi folk tales). Other recent works: Lyric Fire (2006 – poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar for DCDC), A Boundless Journey (2007 for Dallas Black Dance Theatre), Front Porch Lies and Other Conversations (2007 – Oberlin College students,) Sweet Radio Radicals (2007 for Dancing Wheels), Club! (2008 for SUNY Brockport students), In the Groove and Over the Top (self-produced, Cleveland ensemble). Recent productions of How Long Brethren? (2006 – 2007 – American Dance Festival, University of Maryland, Western Michigan University).

McIntyre’s choreography has also appeared on the large and small screen: in the feature film Beloved and in Langston Hughes: The Dreamkeeper and for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf on television. In addition, she choreographed HBO’s award-winning Miss Evers’ Boys for which she received an Emmy nomination.

Besides those mentioned above some awards include: Three Bessies (NY Dance and Performance Award), two AUDELCOs (NY Black Theatre), four Helen Hayes nominations and one award (DC Theatre), Cleveland Arts Prize, Thelma Hill and Woodie (St. Louis Black Theatre) all Lifetime Achievement Awards. Grants include: National Dance Residency Award through Pew Charitable Trust and National Dance Project through New England Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts Three-year Choreography Fellowship (one of three nationally), scores of grants, commissions and other fellowships from NEA, New York State Council on the Arts, foundations and corporations for choreography and organizational support since 1974. (In May, 2009 McIntyre is receiving a special award from a university – not publicly announced to date – Jan 26, 2009)

Along with her mentors, her fellow dancers and collaborative composers, Dianne McIntyre acknowledges the influence of directors and playwrights with whom she has worked: Marion McClinton, Regina Taylor, Des McAnuff, Jonathan Demme, Douglas Turner Ward, August Wilson, OyamO, Ntozake Shange, Avery Brooks, Rita Dove, Joe Sargent, Rick Davis, Irene Lewis, Oz Scott and Rick Khan.

Bebe Miller (dancer), a native New Yorker, has been making dances for over twenty-five years, and has created over forty original works for companies here and abroad. Her interest in finding a physical language for the human condition is a connecting thread throughout her work, and, in order to further a process of group inquiry, she formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985. After two decades of national and international touring, the company is now structured as a “virtual company,” with dancers, collaborating artists and designers living in various locations around the U.S. In recent years, she has been investigating a mix of theatrical narrative, performance and design to expand this language, most notably in Landing/Place (2005) and Verge (2001), both works receiving New York Dance and Performance Awards (a.k.a. 'The Bessies'). In 1999, she, along with choreographer Ralph Lemon and filmmaker Isaac Julien, completed the award-winning, collaborative film, Three. Collaboration being fundamental to her working process, she has worked with composers, visual artists, writers, filmmakers and directors such as Robin Holcomb, Fred Frith, Don Byron, Caroline Beasley-Baker, Robert Kushner, Ain Gordon and Kit Fitzgerald. Miller has created original works for Boston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Philadanco, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, among other companies nationally. She has also received commissions from Phoenix Dance Company in Leeds, England; Groupe Experimental de Danse Contemporaine, in Martinique; PATH Dance Company, Johannesburg, RSA; and Sbrit Dance Company, Asmara, Eritrea.

Ms. Miller has been a Full Professor in Dance at The Ohio State University since 2000. She has collaborated with OSU’s Department of Dance in producing several digital documentation works, including a DVD-ROM of Going To The Wall, a CD-ROM of Prey that accompanies the Labanotation score, and DanceCODES, a software template for choreographic documentation, and has collaborated with OSU’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) in exploring motion capture technology and digital animation in new works.

Bebe Miller’s choreography has been performed internationally in Europe, the Caribbean and the African continent, and nationally in venues ranging from New York City’s Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Walker Center for the Arts, the Wexner Center for the Arts to numerous colleges and universities around the country. She has been honored with four 'Bessie' (New York Dance and Performance) Awards, a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, an American Choreographer’s Award and Artist’s Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and New York Foundation for the Arts. She currently serves on the boards of Bearnstow (a retreat center in Maine), Dance Theater Workshop and Danspace Project, and is a member of the International Artists Advisory Board of the Wexner Center for the Arts.

JAWOLE WILLA JO ZOLLAR (dancer) Founder and Artistic Director, Urban Bush Women, she was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. She trained with Joseph Stevenson, a student of the legendary Katherine Dunham, and received a B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and an M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. In 1980, she moved to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion. She founded Urban Bush Women in 1984. In addition to thirty-two works for UBW, Jawole has created choreography for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Arizona, Philadanco, University of Maryland, University of Florida, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and others. Her many positions as a teacher and speaker include Worlds of Thought Resident Scholar at Mankato State University (1993-94), Regents Lecturer in the Departments of Dance and World Arts and Culture at UCLA (1995-96), Visiting Artist at Ohio State University (1996), and the Abramowitz Memorial Lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998). She was named Alumna of the Year by University of Missouri (1993) and Florida State University (1997), and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Columbia College, Chicago (2002). In 2006, Zollar was recognized with a New York Dance & Performance Award, a BESSIE, for her choreography of the Pearl Primus-inspired dance, “Walking With Pearl…Southern Diaries.” Most recently she was named a United States Artists Wynn Fellow, a distinction that carries a cash award of $50,000. She is a former board member of Dance/USA, the national dance service organization based in Washington, DC. Zollar has received the Martin Luther King Distinguished Service Award from Florida State University, where she holds a tenured position as the Nancy Smith Fichter Professor in the Department of Dance. Zollar also directs the annual Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute in Brooklyn, an intensive training program in dance and community engagement for artists with leadership potential interested in developing a community focus in their art-making. This year’s Institute will be held in New Orleans where UBW seeks to contribute to the city's re-building effort in partnership with local artists and activists including The People’s Institute for Survival & Beyond, 7th Ward Neighborhood Center, ArtSpot Productions, Junebug Productions and members of the Tulane, Dillard, Xavier and UNO academic communities.

Urban Bush Women is proudly based in Brooklyn, New York. UBW has been presented extensively in New York City and has toured throughout the United States and to Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. Festival appearances include Jacob’s Pillow, Spoleto USA, National Black Arts Festival, Dance Umbrella UK and Lincoln Center Festival. The Company has been commissioned by major presenters nationwide, and counts among its honors a 1992 New York Dance and Performance Award ("Bessie"); the 1994 Capezio Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance; and 1998 and 2004 Doris Duke Awards for New Work from the American Dance Festival. The Urban Bush Women repertory consists of 32 works choreographed by Zollar including ambitious collaborations with jazz artist David Murray; poets Laurie Carlos and Carl Hancock Rux; directors Steve Kent and Elizabeth Herron; and the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique (supported by The Ford Foundation’s Africa Exchange Program).

In 2008, the company toured to 23 U.S. cities including the prestigious BAM Next Wave Festival, Canada and Germany with “Les écailles de la mémoire (The scales of memory),” an evening-length work created in collaboration with Germaine Acogny and her all-male Compagnie JANT-BI of Senegal. Long-term community engagement residencies culminating in public performances have been undertaken in New Orleans, Sarasota, Philadelphia, New Haven, Tallahassee, Riverside (California), and Flint (Michigan). Urban Bush Women also produces an annual Summer Leadership Institute for training artists and activists in UBW community engagement techniques.

Brenda Dixon-Gottschild (scholar/researcher) Dixon-Gottschild uses performance—specifically, dance—as a measure of society and barometer of culture. Dixon-Gottschild has journeyed from a career as an artist-performer to a writer-scholar, from practitioner to observer—and, lately, a combination of both. The two developments are driven by the same passion for the performing arts and her belief in performance as a highly charged, sociopolitical phenomenon. Her résumé encompasses the practical and theoretical realms and reflects her background in and commitment to each. To this end Dixon-Gottschild defines herself as an artist-scholar and invented the phrase, "choreography for the page," to describe her embodied, subjunctive approach to research writing. This perspective is shaped by the fact that Dixon-Gottschild spent the early years of her career as a professional performer, first as a member of the Mary Anthony Dance Theater (New York: 1964-1966); then as an independent choreographer, teacher, and performer here and abroad (New York, Stockholm, Helsinki, and London: 1966-1968); and, later, as a member of the Open Theater (directed by Joseph Chaikin, New York and Europe: 1968-1971) and a member of the Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop actor’s unit (New York: 1976-1980). Her work as a student in the Performance Studies Department of New York University (Ph.D., 1981, and full tuition scholarship, 1974-1979) crystallized her growing desire to find a theoretical foundation for her performance interests. In making the switch from performer to scholar Dixon-Gottschild managed to blur the divisions between these categories and play both ends against an interdisciplinary middle ground. Thus, in presenting her research Dixon-Gottschild uses her own dancing body to demonstrate various performative and kinesthetic principles as an attempt to fuse the categories of lecture, performance, and discourse.

Her most recent book (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2003; paperback, 2005) can be regarded as the third installment in her ongoing quest to bring to the fore the African American quotient in the American cultural equation. Titled The Black Dancing Body – A Geography From Coon to Cool, it is a map of American history as told through the “topography” of the black dancing body. Chapters are named for body parts or expressive attributes: feet, buttocks, skin, hair/face, and soul/spirit. An introduction preceding these sections wrestles with the question, “What is black dance?” The Black Dancing Body was awarded the 2004 de la Torre Bueno Prize as the year’s most distinguished book of dance scholarship. Her previous book, Waltzing in the Dark: African American Vaudeville and Race Politics in the Swing Era (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2000; paperback, 2002), focuses on the social, racial, and artistic climate for African American performers from the late 1920s through the 1940s. For this work Dixon-Gottschild received the 2001 CORD (Congress on Research in Dance) Award for Outstanding Scholarly Dance Publication. The first book in this trilogy, Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance: Dance and Other Contexts (Greenwood, 1996; paperback, 1998), was the culmination of a circuitous journey in interdisciplinary research that began with the question, “What makes George Balanchine’s ballets different from European ballet?” Dixon-Gottschild originated and continues to investigate a line of thought that had been ignored in previous socio-cultural and performance studies—namely, the Africanist presence in Europeanist concert dance culture.

In 2008 Dixon-Gottschild was awarded the Congress on Research in Dance Award for Outstanding Leadership in Dance Research and a grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance advance to begin work on a new book on Joan Myers Brown and her legacy. Dixon-Gottschild is Professor Emerita of dance studies, Temple University and a senior consultant and writer for Dance Magazine. Dixon-Gottschild performs with choreographer Hellmut Gottschild (her husband) in a form of somatic and research-based collaboration for which they coined the term, "movement theater discourse."

Charles O. Anderson (Philadelphia choreographer/interviewer of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar) is the head of the African American Studies program and an Assistant Professor of dance at Muhlenberg College. He is also artistic director of the Philadelphia-based dance company dance theatre X. Originally from Richmond, Va., Anderson began his professional dance training at Cornell University in 1991 where he received his BA in 1994. He has studied with and performed for such noted choreographers as Ronald K. Brown, Talley Beatty, Jim Self, Mark Dendy, Sean Curran, Joy Kellman, and Miguel Gutierrez. Anderson moved to Philadelphia in the summer of 1998 and earned his MFA with honors from Temple University in 2002. Both as a solo artist and with dance theatre X, Anderson has presented his work nationally and internationally. Currently Anderson’s choreographic research led to collaborations and artistic exchanges with international choreographers working in fusions of traditional dance forms and contemporary movement styles such as South African choreographer Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe and Japanese choreographer Kota Yamazaki. In June 2007, he was named a recipient of the prestigious Pew Fellowship in the Arts. In 2008, Anderson and dance theatre X were also selected as one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine and the 2008 Company-in- residence at The Yard, the premiere artist colony for dance on Martha’s Vineyard.

Terry Fox (Philadelphia choreographer/Interviewer of Carmen de Lavallade) is a former choreographer/dancer. As an artist she was one of the first in Philly to explore post modernism with improvisational structures in performance as well as “pioneer” the Old City section which was later developed as an arts district. She often collaborated with choreographer/dancer Ishmael Houston Jones, and musicians Charles Cohen and Jeff Cain.

She studied Horton Technique and performed with Joan Kerr Dance Co., and studied in NYC at Clark Center with James Truitte and at the New Dance Group Studio with Judith Dunn. She attended ADF in 1968 & 69, where she studied repertory with Alvin Ailey and performed “Trio A” and other works with Yvonne Rainer in her “Continuous Projects Altered Daily.”

In Philadelphia she performed with Group Motion 1970 -1972. In 1975 she and a number of other dancers and musicians opened a studio at 217 Church Street in Old City, to rehearse, create work and teach classes and workshops. Her signature choreographic work of improvised structures for dance and music was seen at local venues including all the Painted Bride addresses, Etage, Harold Prince Theater, Conwell Theater as well as outdoor sites in public parks and Old City alleyways. Further afield, she performed in venues in NYC; Environ, St. Mark’s Church and the Cunningham Studio and was presented by PS 122 in “Hothouse” and Benefit programs as well as in a full evening of her own work (1985). Her work was also presented by the WPA in DC and TanzFabrik in Berlin, West Germany.

She collaborated with filmmaker David Rosenberg to create “Citizens Footbook” for WHYY-TV funded by the NEA Dance Film Video program. In 1984 she left Philadelphia to become Artistic/Managing Director of the Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery. She returned to the Philadelphia area in 1993 to work in the dance scene as curator and administrator.

She has a BA from New York University (’83) and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Program (’84). She traveled and studied in India in 1978.

Germaine Ingram (Philadelphia choreographer/interviewer of Diane McIntyre) came under the spell of jazz tap dance in the early 1980s when she began intensive study with internationally acclaimed tap artist and teacher LaVaughn Robinson. She has pursued tap's call through performance, choreography, teaching, oral history, video-making and stage production.

Since 1985 she has performed with her mentor, Robinson, and as a soloist. She has performed and taught workshops throughout the United States and Europe and in the Caribbean. She has shared bills with tap greats spanning at least three generations, including Honi Coles, Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown, the Nicholas Brothers, Gregory Hines, Dianne Walker, Brenda Bufalino, Savion Glover and Bakari Wilder. She appeared with Robinson in the Emmy Award-winning public television production "Gregory Hines' Tap Dance in America."

Her choreographic credits include commissions for Manhattan Tap and Washington-based Tappers With Attitude, and works for musical theater. Her commission for Tappers With Attitude was performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in July 2000. In 1998, she contributed choreography to the Joyce Theater presentation, "Excursion Fare," an evening-length collaboration between Heather Cornell of Manhattan Tap and world music ensemble Keith Terry and Crosspulse. Over the past several years she has collaborated and performed with renowned jazz composers and instrumentalists Odean Pope (saxophone), Dave Burrell (piano) and Tyrone Brown (bass), working with these musicians and others in Folklore Project artist residency performances, and elsewhere, including at Dance Boom, and the Merriam Theater.

In the early 1990s she began working with the Folklore Project on an oral history project documenting the lives and artistic styles of veteran African American tap dancers in Philadelphia. That endeavor resulted in her co-producing "Stepping in Time," a stage production featuring tap dancers, singers, comics and other artists whose careers date back to the 1920-40s. Another product of the oral history project is "Plenty of Good Women Dancers," a PFP video documentary on African American women tap dancers, for which she was co-director.

She earned a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and did post-graduate studies at Harvard University as a Fellow in Law and Humanities. She has been a law professor, a litigation attorney, a civil rights lawyer, the head of a governmental law department, and was Chief of Staff of the 209,000-student School District of Philadelphia. She currently works as an education consultant.

Tania Isaac (Philadelphia choreographer/interviewer of Bebe Miller)" Fusing choreography with personal documentary and social commentary, her stage picture is intelligent, voluptuous, witty, and political, all in the same breath." - Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Critic,

Tania Isaac was honored as one of the country’s leading young choreographers in Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch for 2006”. Weaving together movement, text and video, Tania Isaac Dance has toured through the US, the UK and Japan and been supported by organizations such as the Leeway Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Independence Foundation, and the National Performance Network. Additionally, Ms Isaac has been a Resident Artist at Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, and a US/JAPAN Exchange Artist through Philadelphia Dance Projects, Dance Theater Workshop and the Japan Foundation.

Tania is a former Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and a former member of Rennie Harris Puremovement, Urban Bush Women and Li Chiao-Ping Dance. In 2006, she was in residence at MANCC (Maggie Allesse National Center for Choreography). She continues to conduct presentations as a Commonwealth Speaker with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council; present workshops and classes in Caribbean and Modern Dance; create new work and tour. She has worked closely with WHYY and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council to create a TV special featuring her unique approach to presenting Caribbean Social Dance in Social Context, and has taught and performed in extended residencies at Bennington College (VT) and University of Wisconsin –Madison (WI).

She is a graduate with honors from the University of Wisconsin -Madison and received her MFA from Temple University where she was a Teaching Assistant and University Fellow.

Kariamu Welsh (Philadelphia choreographer/ interviewer of Germaine Acogny), Professor and the Department of Dance Chairperson, received her Doctorate of Arts from New York University and her MA.H. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Widely published in both scholarly journals and book length studies, she is a scholar of cultural studies including performance and culture within Africa and the African Diaspora. Dr. Welsh serves as the Director of the Institute for African Dance Research and Performance. She is the author of two recently published books by Africa World Press, Trenton, NJ: Zimbabwe Dance: Rhythmic Forces, Ancestral Voices and An Aesthetic Analysis and Umfundalai: An African Dance Technique. She is the editor of The African Aesthetic: Keeper of Traditions (Greenwood Press, 1994) and African Dance: An Artistic, Historical and Philosophical Inquiry (Africa World Press, 1996). She co-edited African Culture: Rhythms of Unity (Africa World Press, 1985). Dr. Welsh is the artistic director of Kariamu & Co.: Traditions. Kariamu is the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants and awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, the Creative Public Service Award of NY, a 1997 Pew Fellowship, a 1997 Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a 1998 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant, and three Senior Fulbright Scholar Awards. She is the founding artistic director of the National Dance Company of Zimbabwe in southern Africa. Dr. Welsh is the creator of the Umfundalai dance technique, a Pan African contemporary technique that has been in existence for over thirty-three years.










Fly History FLY: Five First Ladies of Dance : BeBe Miller, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Germaine Acogny, Dianne McIntyre and Carmen de Lavallade

They kicked down doors as aspiring professional dancers of color. Determined, they embraced the craft earning the respect deserved of any hard working artist. With passion and fresh perspective, they envisioned new possibilities in the world of dance. Since, they’ve graced numerous stages, choreographed multiple works, directed several ensembles, taught and lectured countless students worldwide. For the first time ever in Philadelphia, these pioneers come together as one iconic force to share a unique story – an American story. Through intimate conversation in studio and riveting solo performances on stage, each “FLY Leading Lady” conveys her unique contribution to the growth and vitality of the genre.

Philadelphia – an epicenter for dance today as it was yesterday, especially for African Americans. The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection is natural fit for this exclusive regional engagement. Four of the five FLY ladies choreographed works for Philadelphia Dance Company, Philadelphia’s own internationally known treasure. As we look upon this unique occasion to celebrate, join us in saluting these elegant ladies of dance, sisters of sophistication, and mothers of movement.

FLY: Philly Connections and Reflections:

Brenda Dixon-Gottschild phone interview with Bebe Miller

Brenda Dixon-Gottschild phone interview with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Philadelphia Dance Connections by Dianne McIntyre, March 2010

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Joan Myers-Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina by Brenda Dixon-Gottschild Chapter Four: Nose to the Grindstone, Head to the Stars - The Philadelphia Aesthetic

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