Several original works will be highlighted at “Dances for the Soul.” (Jingqiu Guan/Lula Washington Dance Theatre)

Lula Washington, whose work has been celebrated for nearly five decades, will present a dance journey that explores the African American Experience through vibrant and beautiful dance works.

“Lula Washington’s varied repertoire strikes a unique balance that allows audiences to celebrate and experience the heights of joy, while also commenting on the most pertinent social justice issues of our time,” said Molly Clark, director of Cal Poly Arts Dances.

“Dances For the Soul” is also a celebration of the National Medal of Arts given to the International Association of Blacks in Dance, (of which Mrs. Washington is a founding board member). Mrs. Washington attended the ceremony at the White House and witnessed President Biden presenting the medal to four IABD founders and the current IABD president/CEO.

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“Dances for the Soul” acknowledges LWDT’s Next Generation, with excerpts from “Sweet, Suite Nina,” a compilation of works by LWDT Associate Director Tamica Washington-Miller and company dancer/choreographers Ongelle Johnson and Danny Guerrero.

The company will reprise is moving historical work, “Pages,” created by Lula Washington to commemorate the inaugural Federal Juneteenth Day of Observance of the end of slavery. Also LWDT will present “Random Thoughts,” a commissioned work that Mrs. Washington choreographed for the Hollywood Bowl Playboy Jazz Festival and performed live with Terrance Blanchard and his band.

The “Today” suite celebrates the human spirit and addresses COVID, the racial reckoning brought on by the killing of George Floyd, the spread of Asian hate in America, and the plight of immigrants trying to find freedom in America, only to be turned away.

The closing cry is that “I Will Survive! Master Plan” choreographed by Lula Washington, which is a tribute to legendary saxophonist, Pharaoh Sanders. The piece uses the colors of the human chakras, which refers to the energy centers in your body; mudras, a symbolic hand gesture that has the power of producing joy and happiness; and American Sign language, to portray the search for peace, love and happiness.

“There is a kind of honesty here, a revelation…there is something entirely different here from most other dance companies,” said Douglas Messerli, in the US Theater, Opera, and Performance publication.

Tickets are available at

For more information, contact Erwin Washington at: [email protected] or (323) 292-5852