Onye Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher currently serving as Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago. She has been actively presenting work since 1997. Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (Manhattan, NY), Kaay Fecc Festival Des Tous les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), Lisner Auditorium (Washington, DC), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA), as well as many anonymous site-specific locations. She has performed locally in Chicago at Hamlin Park Summer Sampler, with Red Clay Dance in La Femme, and in the Afro-Latin@ Summer Dance Intensive at Columbia College Chicago. She has been Artist in Residence at EarthDance Workshop and Retreat Center, Bates Dance Festival, Chulitna Wilderness Lodge and Retreat, and Camp Merveilles. Her collaboration with jazz composer Greg Ward, Touch My Beloved’s Thought, premiered at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park (Chicago, IL)—a live dance and music performance in honor of Charles Mingus and commissioned by Links Hall and Constellation. Recently, Ozuzu was selected as a 2016 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist.
Ozuzu has dedicated much of her work as a dance artist to cultivating space for diverse dance forms to exist in pluralist relationship to one another. In her body she has negotiated the inter-sectionality between many movement forms from tennis to ballet, West African dance to Hatha Yoga, freestyle House to salsa, contemporary dance to Aikido. Rather than just “collecting” these dance styles, she cultivates the ability to make choices among these techniques with an intention to access a purposefully hybridized movement practice. She seeks a relationship that is like the relationship of a maker to their tools, rather than a person to their habits. Ozuzu makes contemporary dance that is “tooled” by, but not dictated by, traditional movement cultures in style, technique, concept and execution.