Spotlight: Joanna Haigood and Zaccho Dance Theatre

Joanna and members of Zaccho Dance Theatre will perform at the Equal Justice Society annual gala on September 13 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. Our gala will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Our event will also feature performances by artists from the Marcus Shelby Orchestra and the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (LHT). We’ll profile Steven Anthony Jones and LHT in a future email. Read our profile on Marcus Shelby.

Joanna Haigood is the artistic director of Zaccho Dance Theatre, which creates and presents performance work that investigates dance as it relates to place.

Joanna’s creative work uses natural, architectural and cultural environments as points of departure for movement exploration and narrative. Her work has been commissioned by many arts institutions, including Dancing in the Streets, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Walker Arts Center, the Exploratorium Museum, the National Black Arts Festival, and Festival d’Avignon.

Joanna has also been honored with the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Cal/Alpert Award in Dance, the US Artist Fellowship, and a New York Bessie Award. Most recently, Haigood was a recipient of the esteemed Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.

In 2011, EJS commissioned Joanna, Zaccho Dance Theatre, and Marcus Shelby to create “Dying While Black and Brown,” which fused Marcus’ music with the unique movements by of Joanna and Zaccho. Performed at EJS’s annual gala in 2011, it marked the first collaboration between Joanna and Marcus.

In 2013, Joanna and Marcus were joined by Steven Anthony Jones of Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in a three-year collaboration in which the three artists and their teams would create performances as the main features of EJS’s annual fundraisers from 2013-2015. The first performance was unveiled on August 28, 2013, at our annual gala at the Oakland Museum commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The trio’s collaboration continues this year as they share an original performance with our audience at our September 13 event.

Learn more about Joanna and Zaccho at, and please join us on September 13 by purchasing tickets or a sponsorship.

Click here for complete event details.