Project Tool is a dance performance installation in which I will build a collection of sprung wood dance floors. What is learned physically, emotionally, and conceptually in the process of building will become the material that is used to craft the performance. This project stems from my fascination with the inter-relationships between body, task, and tool. In collaboration with designer Steve Silber, I will build a number of hexagonal sprung wood floors that can be arranged and configured in numerous ways to transform many different types of spaces into places where performance (dance performance, particularly) can happen. The act of building this floor will explore the use of tools as if they are partners in a dance with the body. With this project, I’m interested in crafting a live performance that is meaningful to watch, think, and talk about while also leaving behind a physical artifact, a resource that can be used by dancers and dance presenters all over the city. This project will also carry on through my body and the bodies of other dancers who participate through the skills and know-how to make the floors upon which we dance and the opportunity to channel that practicality into our artistic practices.
Project Tool is a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist recipient as well as a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Links Hall in partnership with Dancing Grounds and NPN. Currently, Onye Ozuzu is a resident artist at the Rebuild Foundation. This project is partially supported by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This project was also made possible through a grant from 3Arts that was partially supported by 67 donors to 3AP (3Arts Projects), including: Dawoud Bey, Dionne Champion, Margi Cole, Osubi Craig, Kristina Fluty, Darrell Jones, Stephanie Kobes, Lisa Lee, Jewel Malone, Mazi Mutafa, Pranita Nayar, Eliza Nichols, Chiedu Ozuzu, Justin Richards, Donatto Surratt, Kubilay Uner, Zachary Whittenburg, Fo Wilson, and The Instigation Festival.