Blood, Muscle, Bone

BLOOD, MUSCLE, BONE: the anatomy of wealth and poverty
Urban Bush Women and Liz Lerman

What does it take for the imagination to change? How are imagination and experience linked? How do wealth and poverty affect the body? How is the allostatic load distributed across race? How are communities systemically resistant (immune) to wealth or poverty?

Blood, Muscle, Bone is a performance and residency project conceived of and developed by choreographers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Liz Lerman whose work is informed by an intense research process involving diverse communities through the lens of cultural equity. Multi-disciplinary in its processes as well as its outcomes, the project examines how wealth and poverty impact the body while asking new questions about how these conditions are defined and imagined. The enduring question of why economic inequality continues with such persistence is an underlying engine of the piece. Seeking to move beyond "compassion fatigue," the work animates the seemingly intractable crisis of poverty. With a development arc of several years through residencies where creative research, community engagement, and rehearsal hours accumulate for public sharing and performance, the public offerings of Blood, Muscle, Bone might include stage performance, prayer breakfasts, lecture tours, workshops, teacher training, panels, and cabarets. These community-engaged performance events are part of the creative process as well as the creative product of this work.

After years of thinking in common, Liz Lerman and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar began working together in the spring of 2011 on what has become a project Blood, Muscle, Bone: the anatomy of wealth and poverty. The project has been developed during three residencies to date including Baltimore's Center Stage, Florida State University in Tallahassee, and the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan; each culminating in performance events, discussions, and workshops.