Ogemdi Ude: I know exactly what you mean – Danspace Project
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Ogemdi Ude: I know exactly what you mean

Two Black women are positioned on opposite ends of a church studio with a mic stand wrapped in braids stand in front of them. Their arms are extended out with knees bent and heads thrown back.
Ogemdi Ude and Selah V. Hampton. Photo: Chidozie Ekwensi.

Part of Platform 2022: The Dream of the Audience (Part II)

Thursday, May 12, 8pm
Friday, May 13, 8pm
Saturday, May 14, 8pm

*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*

Accessibility: Audio Description (AD) will be provided by Marielys Burgos Meléndez on Saturday, May 14, 8pm. Additional AD tickets are available for deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired audience members on those respective dates. Please email Seta@danspaceproject.org to reserve AD tickets. $15 Wheelchair accessible tickets are available for every performance through OvationTix. Visit danspaceproject.org/accessibility for more information.

Click here to download the performance program

I know exactly what you mean playfully explores the roles of storytelling and lying in recovering cultural memory, establishing kinship amongst Black folks, and processing personal grief. Devised by Ude in collaboration with performers Selah V. Hampton and Symara Johnson, this evening-length dance calls on nostalgic Black music and personal narratives to draw the audience into the work.

I know exactly what you mean evolves from research into novelist Toni Morrison’s themes of “rememory” and “remembering,” and playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’ call to Black Americans to “make” history, when much of it has gone lost or unrecorded. “We are addressing the fissures in personal and collective memory that a traumatic event creates. When we don’t remember, we fabricate to make sense out of what we do,” Ude writes. “I want to make a space for my collaborators and audiences to experience the healing and protective power of storytelling and the ways lying can often help us make sense of an essential truth.”

Choreography and direction by Ogemdi Ude in collaboration with Selah V. Hampton and Symara Johnson
Lighting Design by Carol Mullins
Projection and Interactive Media Design by Jon DeGaetano and Matthew Deinhart
Sound Design by Antonio Brown
Administrative Support from Gabby Carmichael

Funding & Support
I know exactly what you mean
was commissioned and premiered at Danspace Project. I know exactly what you mean is made possible in part with support from Dance/NYC’s Disability Dance Artistry Residency Program, the Center for Performance Research Artist in Residence program, and the St. Anthony Educational Foundation.

Accessibility & Covid Safety at Danspace:
*Proof of vaccination with 1st booster and mask required for entry.*
Visit our Accessibility Info page & Covid Safety page for more information and guidelines for attending performances and events our venue.

Ogemdi Ude is a Nigerian-American dance artist, educator, and doula based in Brooklyn, New York. Her performances focus on Black femme legacies and futures, grief, and memory. She aims to incite critical engagement with embodied Black history as a means to imagine Black futurity. Her work has been presented at Issue Project Room, Recess Art, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Gibney, Center for Performance Research, Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, and for BAM’s DanceAfrica Festival. As an educator, she serves as Head of Movement for Theater at Professional Performing Arts School and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, MIT, and University of the Arts. In collaboration with Rochelle Jamila Wilbun she facilitates AfroPeach, a series of dance workshops and talks birth work specialists for Black postpartum people in Brooklyn. She is a 2021 danceWEB Scholar, 2021 Laundromat Project Artist-in-Residence, and 2021 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement Grantee. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English from Princeton University. 

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