The Institute Dance Symposium Series

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre

Thursday, February 26, 2015
7:30 p.m
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center Street, Newark, NJ 07102

In 2015, the Institute's Dance Symposium Series will celebrate ten years of bringing quality arts programming to our urban community. As part of a special commemorative season, the Institute is proud to present the Lula Washington Dance Theatre on Thursday, February 26, 2015, 7:30 p.m in partnership with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Victoria Theater in Newark.  A nationally revered company, Lula Washington Dance Theatre is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2015, and will visit Newark one week after the Institute's 35th annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series (MTW) on February 21, 2015 at Rutgers University-Newark.

Founded in 1980 in inner city Los Angeles, the innovative and provocative Lula Washington Dance Theatre has thrilled audiences with its powerful, high-energy dancing.   Lula Washington focuses on using dance to explore social and humanitarian issues, including aspects of African-American history and culture. The company has become one of the most admired African-American contemporary dance ensembles in the West.  As part of this special dance symposium, the ensemble will be teaching a master class at Arts High School, Newark, as well as a one-hour community class open to the public in the campus’ dance studio at 11 a.m. on February 26.

Lula and the company have a passionate commitment to education both at home and in every community in which it performs.

A jazz-flavored program is specially planned for NJPAC, as well as other community engagement events with the dance company, facilitated by NJPAC. NJPAC is offering specially priced tickets for this performance, including discounted student tickets; the Institute will also offer discount vouchers to MTW attendees. For ticket information, visit the NJPAC website at

The Dance Symposium Series is mounted semi-annually by The Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, an interdisciplinary academic center that offers the Newark metropolitan area the finest thinkers and artists engaged with key issues of modern life.  For ten years, the Institute’s Dance Symposium Series has brought internationally acclaimed dance artists directly to an urban audience, including diverse groups of students, families, and lifelong learners. Former dance programs have included Middle Eastern, Indian, African, and Afro-Brazilian, North African, Flamenco, Cambodian, South African, Chinese, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, and Bharatnatyam dance.

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre is a co-presentation of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers university-Newark and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The Symposium is supported in part by funds from: the National Endowment for the Arts; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; an ArtStart Project Grant from the Newark Arts Council; and by the Cultural Arts Programming Fund at Rutgers University-Newark.

Ticket price is $35
Discount vouchers available to MTW attendees on Feb. 21st
$10 Rutgers student RUSH tickets.






San Jose Taiko: A Journey Through Rhythm

Monday, March 23, 2015
Free Period: 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
Paul Robeson Campus Center
 350 Martin LutherKing Jr. Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102

The pounding of Taiko drums will reverberate throughout the Paul Robeson Campus Center on Monday, March 23, 2015, as San Jose Taiko introduces the Rutgers University-Newark community to the spectacular art of taiko drumming. The lecture/demonstration by San Jose Taiko, “A Journey Through Rhythm,” will take place during free period, 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. in the third floor Dance Theater. Admission is free.

San Jose Taiko has mesmerized audiences and critics alike with the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of taiko, the Japanese drum. Inspired by traditional Japanese drumming, company performers express the beauty and harmony of the human spirit through the voice of the taiko as they strive to create new dimensions in music and movement.

San Jose Taiko was founded in 1973 by young Asian Americans searching for an outlet to convey their experiences as third generation Japanese Americans, or Sansei. Looking to Japan for inspiration, they were drawn to the empowering sounds of the taiko, the Japanese drum, an instrument that embodies the spiritual essence and heartbeat of Japan. Since then, San Jose Taiko has become a world-class ensemble, performing extensively both nationally and internationally, reaching more than 75,000 audience members each year. By studying with masters of other traditions and cultures, the musicians of San Jose Taiko have broadened and embellished this historical art form into a style that joins the traditional rhythms of Japanese drumming with the beat of world rhythms, including African, Brazilian, Filipino, Latin and Jazz. With a deep respect for cultural traditions, San Jose Taiko is dedicated to the advancement of taiko through innovative performances and outstanding educational programs, and use the power and beauty of taiko to transcend cultural barriers and foster a greater understanding of Japanese American culture. For more information, visit the San Jose Taiko web site at:

“A Journey Through Rhythm” is presented by the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, and co-sponsored by the Office of Student Life and Leadership at Rutgers University-Newark.