Okwui Okpokwasili – Danspace Project
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Okwui Okpokwasili

Okwui Okpokwasili, Brooklyn, NY, April 2021. Photo: Ian Douglas.

Film premiere: Friday, June 4 | 5pm (ET) via Zoom
The digital premiere will be followed by a live conversation between Okpokwasili & Peter Born.
REGISTER HERE (A Zoom link will be sent to registrants via email approximately 30 minutes prior to the event)

Part of PLATFORM 2021: The Dream of the Audience


Okwui Okpokwasili presents a new short video work created while in-residence at Danspace’s historic venue in St. Mark’s Church.

Multi-disciplinary artist Okwui Okpokwasili co-curated Platform 2020: Utterances from the Chorus with Judy Hussie-Taylor. The Platform explored collective song and the body as a site of resistance and transformation. The Platform’s centerpiece was the durational practice, Sitting On a Man’s Head, created by Okpokwasili and longtime collaborator, Peter Born. This was one of the last works to be presented at Danspace Project inside of the St. Mark’s Church sanctuary before the pandemic shut down in March 2020.

During her residency at Danspace, Okpokwasili will work with Born to create, and film, a soundscape inside Danspace’s sanctuary at St. Mark’s Church.

This film premieres June 4, 2021, and will be available for viewing on our Journal from July 1-Aug 31.

Watch the film here. 

Accessibility: CART live captioning will be provided for all film screenings and conversations. A phone number will be provided so that the Zoom chat may be accessed audibly. Requests, questions, or feedback can be submitted to seta@danspaceproject.org.

Okwui Okpokwasili is a Brooklyn-based writer, performer, and choreographer who creates multidisciplinary performance pieces that seek to shape and amplify the shared psychic space the audience and performer inhabit, and, through centering the African/African American feminine, to illuminate universal human conditions. Her productions, created in collaboration with acclaimed designer Peter Born, are highly experimental in form, bringing together elements of dance, theater, and the visual arts. Okpokwasili and Born’s first New York production, Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance, premiered at Performance Space 122 and received a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for Outstanding Production. Their second collaboration, Bronx Gothic, premiered at Danspace Project as part of Performance Space 122’s COIL festival, and won a 2014 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production, toured nationally and internationally, is the subject of a documentary film directed by Andrew Rossi and was recently performed at the Young Vic Theater in London in a month long run in 2019. Currently touring work includes Poor People’s TV Room, premiered at New York Live Arts in 2017; Adaku’s Revolt, 2019, premiered at Abrons Art Center and Sitting on a Man’s Head, appeared at the 2018 Berlin Biennale and at the 2019 CounterCurrent Festival in Houston, as well as at Danspace Project’s Platform 2020: Utterances From the Chorus, which Okpokwasili co-curated. Okpokwasili frequently collaborates with award-winning director Ralph Lemon. She has appeared as an actor in many productions including works by Nora Chipaumire, Julie Taymor, Young Jean Lee, Richard Foreman and Richard Maxwell. Most recently, Okpokwasili performed as the Lady in Green at the Public Theater in For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. Film credits include Her Composition , Knut Åsdam’s AbyssY, The Interpreter, The Hoax, I Am Legend, and Madeline’s Madeline. Okpokwasili is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award, a 2018 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, a 2018 United States Artist Fellowship, and a 2018 Herb Alpert Award. Her performance work has been commissioned by the Walker Art Center, Danspace Project, Performance Space New York, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, the 10th Annual Berlin Biennale, Jacob’s Pillow, and New York Live Arts, where she was a Randjelovic/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist. Her first album, day pulls down the sky, was produced by Danspace Project and released in February 2020. 

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