Amara Tabor-Smith

Performing Arts, 2016

Amara Tabor-Smith describes her work as Afro futurist Conjure Art. Her creative process as a dance maker is rooted in collaboration, spiritual ritual, and questions of identity and belonging. Her movement vocabulary is inspired by improvisation, Butoh and African Diaspora dance traditions, specifically drawing from movements of the Orishas found in Afro Cuban and Afro Brazilian folkloric dance. In 2006—with the goal of inspiring dialogue—she founded Deep Waters Dance Theater, a company that focuses on social- and environmental-justice issues, race, gender, cultural identity and spirituality. In 2009, she co-founded Headmistress with Sherwood Chen, creating intimate movement histories with enduring questions around ancestral, national and transcultural connections. The work of DWDT and Headmistress has been presented in venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, nationally and internationally. She has worked with artists such as Ed Mock, Joanna Haigood, Anna Deveare Smith, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Faustin Linyekula, Liz Lerman, Adia Tamar Whitaker and Ronald K. Brown, as well as with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar as a former associate artistic director and dancer with Urban Bush Women for 10 years.