Photo of dancer

Krystal Hicks dances with the Lula Washington Dance Theatre on Feb. 15 at Ilfeld Auditorium.

Image Courtesy of Lula Washington Dance Theatre


Las Vegas, N.M – As part of Black History Month, the Arts @HU initiative at Highlands University is sponsoring the Lula Washington Dance Theatre on February 15 at 7 p.m. in the university’s historic Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave.

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre is one of the world’s premier African-American dance companies.

Founder and artistic director Washington established the acclaimed dance company in 1980 in Los Angeles. It has performed in more than 150 cities in the United States and globally in countries such as Germany, Spain, Kosovo, Mexico, Canada, China and Russia.

Washington is also known for her choreography in movies like The Little Mermaid and Avatar.

“I’m ecstatic to have such a high-caliber dance company come to Highlands and Las Vegas for the first time,” says Donna Martínez, Ilfeld Auditorium manager. “I’ve seen the company dance and it is extremely talented, spellbinding and high-energy. Please join us for an exciting evening of culturally enriching entertainment.”

Martínez says the Lula Washington Dance Theatre will perform a suite of dances that advocate for acceptance of all people.

Dance critics from the New York Times give the Lula Washington Dance Theatre rave reviews: “Ms. Washington’s choreographic vocabulary comprises modern dance, low crouching and stamping movements inspired by African dance and, occasionally, ballet. It’s a perfectly pleasant and functional mix, and in ‘We Wore the Mask,’ Ms. Washington displays a sure theatricality that is captivating.”

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre also receives accolades for its expression of African-American culture. Washington is hailed for her passion and willingness to tackle important issues.

The Reno-Gazette Journal writes, “Lula Washington’s stature as an expresser of inner-city culture has become as distinctive and important as the social-revelatory work of enormous dance talents such as Martha Graham and Twyla Tharp.”

Since 1983, Lula Washington has also become a Los Angeles legend for providing low cost and free dance classes to neighborhood children through an after-school program called “I Do Dance, Not Drugs.” The program has taught dance to more than 45,000 inner-city youths.

Washington earned both her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Dance from UCLA, becoming one of the university’s most successful graduates. She received UCLA’s Chancellor’s Award for Community Service in 2013.

General admission tickets for the Lula Washington Dance Theatre are $15. Tickets for children 10 and younger are $8; for Highlands University staff and faculty they are $10; and for Highlands students with valid HU IDs admission is free.

Advance tickets are available at the university’s KEDP radio station ticket office, Studio 103, 901 University Ave., Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., or call 505-454-3238.