Members of the Urban Bush Women lead the young dance majors through community-building exercises.
RESTAGING SHELTER chronicles the artistic process of the Urban Bush Women and their founding director, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, as they reconstruct Zollar's master work, Shelter, for the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) dance program. Members of the Urban Bush Women lead the young dance majors through community-building exercises, challenging them to look at issues of homelessness and displacement. During rehearsals, the students embark on a rigorous journey - both physically and emotionally - as they engage in what Zollar calls, "an actor's process through a dancer's body." Zollar choreographed Shelter a dance for six women, in 1988 after witnessing homelessness in different areas of the United States. The current incarnation of the dance examines the same issues, but through a post-Hurricane Katrina lens.