Lula Washington’s “tutu raffia” bids 2011 adieu

A highlight of the blistering Kwanzaa show staged by Lula Washington Dance Theatre at the Nate Holden Theater this weekend was a sinewy solo by Haniyyah Tahirah bedecked in what the choreographer Lula Washington calls a “tutu raffia.” It’s a clever cultural mash-up combining Africa & classical ballet.

The eternally creative Washington explained: “The look is based on a costume [the top] from our “Dances for McCoy” (McCoy Tyner) and the African short raffia skirt, which reminded me of a ballet tutu. I wanted to bring the African world into the ballet world.”

The jewelry came from the personal collection of Washington, who is a notoriously natty dresser. “Hey! I’ve got to get that back~!” she remembered with a laugh.

Photos courtesy:

Em Mesiyah Mcginnis
Sol Washington


Like this? Read more:

  • In May/June of this year, we had the experience of a lifetime — rambling around China on the Lula Washington Dance Theatre tour bus. Read about it in our Lula Washington thread.

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