OKWUI OKPOKWASILI: BRONX GOTHIC
July 17–19, 2014 West Coast Premiere
“A breakout success—evocative and fresh, revealing a voice as compelling as her stage presence.” —Village Voice
“In the midst of this great feat of performance, she breaks your heart, absolutely slays you with the poetry of it.” —Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Infinite Body
Created by celebrated dance/theater artist Okwui Okpokwasili and directed by Peter Born, Bronx Gothic gives vivid physical force to the charged relationship between two girls on the verge of adolescence in the 1980s. Okpokwasili’s unforgettable performance pushes against extremes and reverberates with a potency that threatens to break the body. Memories surge in this fictive autobiographical invocation—as the lives of two 11-year-olds are revealed with unflinching honesty through their sex-saturated, hand-passed notes. Drawing inspiration from Victorian-era novels and West African griot storytellers, Bronx Gothic conjures a darkly powerful tale of sexual discovery and intimate entwinings in the outer boroughs of New York City.
Okpokwasili and director Peter Born were awarded a 2010 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for the work Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance. Okpokwasili is widely known for her ongoing artistic collaboration with Ralph Lemon and performance work with Nora Chipaumire, Young Jean Lee and Dean Moss, among many others. She is a 2012 Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Fellow, a 2013 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Choreography and a 2014 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grantee for Dance.
Written and performed by Okwui Okpokwasili
Directed by Peter Born
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Bronx Gothic is presented by Show Box L.A. with generous support from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and members of the Bronx Gothic Host Committee: Antonio Castillo and Edgar Miramontes, Jessica Fleischmann, Randy Lakeman, Roy López and Angel Perez, Brian Ronan, Anna B. Scott and Joel Smith.
Bronx Gothic was co-commissioned by Performance Space 122, Danspace Project, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and the Jerome Foundation with residency support from Park Avenue Armory’s Under Construction Series, New York Live Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center and LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development program. Additional commissioning support provided by Le Maillon in Strasbourg, Théâtre de Gennevilliers in Paris, Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse and Zagrebačko Kazalište Mladih in Zagreb, as part of PS122 GLOBAL program.
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