Okwui Okpokwasili is a collaborative artist who works in music, dance, theater and performance art with such artists as Ralph Lemon, Peter Born, David Thomson, Dean Moss/Layla Ali, Annie Dorsen, Nora Chipaumire and Jim Findlay. Okpokwasili writes raw and intimate semi-autobiographical text that becomes the seed for an exploration of a movement vocabulary and out of this, a narrative in space and language emerges. Her past performances include Miriam, BAM Fisher National & International Tour (2012); Bronx Gothic, Danspace Project (2012); Bronx Gothic, River To River Festival (2014) and How Can You Stay… BAM Harvey Premiere (2010).
Okpokwasili’s residencies and awards include LMCC’s President’s Award for Performing Arts (2016); Rauschenberg Residency, Captiva Island, FL (2015); Artist Residency Program, Baryshnikov Art Center, New York, NY (2013); LMCC’s Process Space, New York, NY (2013); LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development, New York, NY (2013-2014, 2015-2016); Under Construction Series, Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY (2013); Studio Series Artist, New York Live Arts, New York, NY (2013); and Choreographic Fellow, MANCC, FL (2012).
She premiered the 2010 Bessie Award winning Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance at PS 122, an original work made in collaboration with and directed by Peter Born. For her performance in the third installation of Ralph Lemon’s Geography Trilogy, Come Home, Charley Patton, she received a 2005 Bessie Award for Performance. Her acting credits include Leda in Sounding at HERE Arts Center, Goneril in YJLTC’s LEAR at Soho Rep, Joan in Joan Dark, a co-production of the Goodman Theater and the Linz 09 European Culture Capital. Okpokwasili holds a B.A from Yale University.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Peter Born