I intend to share the Technology of the Circle performance process with more communities, including a potential Seattle tour. Additionally, I am pursuing tour possibilities for the recent success of Touch My Beloved’s Thought—a performance of live dance and music in honor of Charles Mingus made in collaboration with jazz composer Greg Ward that premiered at Millennium Park (Chicago, IL).
As a 2016 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, I will be pursuing Project Tool, a durational performance installation. Within Project Tool, a mature dancer body explores, through the process of using hand held tools and legacy processes, the relationship between mind, body and tool. In collaboration with a group of improvisational performer/dance artists and a group of architect/carpenters led by Steve Silber, we will build a shared dance space. In building the space, we will explore the actions, techniques, qualities, and capacities of the body involved in the act of building. Tools will serve as functional, aesthetic, corporeal, somatic, representational and abstract influences, all simultaneously.
Technology of the Circle
The Technology of the Circle is a performance process that uses the circle as a structure for diverse dance improvisation practices. From Breaking, Afro-Cuban, Contemporary Ballet, House, West African, these forms will merge with contemporary dance and theatre improvisational techniques and emerge as a fluid tool for the crafting of layered, powerful, individual and embodied civic discourse. Featuring Chicago all-stars—Onye Ozuzu, Paige Cunningham-Caldarella, BraveMonk, and Kelsa Robinson—in five locations around the city. This project was a featured program in the 2015 Chicago Artists Month and funded in part by the Department of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Individual Artist Program: Creative Projects Grant.
Touch My Beloved’s Thought (a.k.a Black Saint and the Sinner Lady)
Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, Chicago, IL
A live dance and music performance in honor of Charles Mingus’ album of the same title, made in collaboration with jazz composer Greg Ward, and commissioned by Links Hall and Constellation. The work received the Black Excellence Award (2014-2015) for Special Achievement in Choreography by the African American Arts Alliance.
- Ozuzu gave apt visual expression to this rambunctious music– Chicago Tribune
- …there was something quite magical about how [Ozuzu] combined Western and non-Western dance forms to create her collage– Art Intercepts
- Onye Ozuzu‘s choreography for a troupe of physically diverse but all highly energized and dramatic movers seemed inspired and perfectly attuned to/interactive with the music. – Jazz Beyond Jazz
RIVER · MOUTH · OCEAN: Explorations in Afro-Asian Futurism
Links Hall, Chicago, IL
Peggy Choy and I collaborated in an evening of dance at Links Hall. Through our own unique languages of dance, we explored water issues linked to cultural survival, environmental justice, and hybrid identities. The performance featured a collection of pieces that connected with the theme, and new dances created for each other.
Two Missionaries Daughters Converse about Reality
Collaboration with Stephanie Tuley
Stephanie Tuley and I began with a conversation across conceptual frameworks. Using our two stylistic structures, Ballet and Afro-modern practices, as metaphors, we experimented with choreographic processes that proposed alternative ways of listening, learning, repeating, understanding and being in “unison” or unified in a pluralistic experiment. We were researching and revealing the rigor of each of our body’s languages through the practice of translation.
And They Lynched Him on a Tree
Presented at ATLAS (Alliance for Technology Learning and Science), Boulder, CO
A collaborative multi-disciplinary project based on the composition “And They Lynched Him on a Tree” by William Grant Still. The project included a live choir and orchestra, dancers, aerial performers, site-specific installation and video projection. The project grappled with the American legacy of lynching with a particular eye towards destabilizing the established narrative: engaging without re-traumas and asking if the effects of multi-generational trauma can be undone.
Sambo’s Sister (Co-Founder/Artistic Director/Choreographer)
A collaborative interdisciplinary project that integrates Painting, Art Installation, Live Performance and Video. The project explores the territories of blackface minstrelsy, American pop culture and its classical African roots.
The Storyteller, solo performance, part 3 of the Sambo’s Sister project, premiered in Boulder, CO
American Mascot, duet performance piece, part 2 of the Sambo’s Sister project; premiered in Chicago, IL
The Minstrel Mask, solo performance in collaboration with a succession of visual artists, Dennis Flippin (video), Steve Silber (sculpture), and Michael Dixon (painting), installation performance premiered at the International Boulder Fringe Festival, Boulder, CO