ELEVATE CHICAGO DANCE - ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Elevate 2018 Artists
Onye Ozuzu / Ozuzu Dances
Experience Ozuzu’s visit back to Chicago with her improvisational collaboration with Qudus Onikeku & Ben LaMar Gay.
Onye Ozuzu + Qudus Onikeku + Ben LaMar Gay
Choreographer: Onye Ozuzu + Qudus Onikeku
Music: Ben LaMar Gay
Text: Onye Ozuzu + Qudus Onikeku
Videography and Projections: Jovan Landry
About the Piece
AFRO+SPACE+TIME is an improvisational performance with choreographer/performer Onye Ozuzu, Nigerian choreographer/performer Qudus Onikeku, and musician Ben LaMar Gay. Holding reincarnation as the existential foundation, the momentum of our gathering is a non-linear, cyclical relationship to time and a psychic, intangible relationship to space.
About the Artist
Artistic Director: Onye Ozuzu
Kate Speer, Administrative Assistant
Onikeku and Ozuzu are co-curators of DanceGATHERING Lagos an annual anti-disciplinary gathering of artists in Lagos, Nigeria. The 2019 edition (Feb 11-24) is themed AfroSpaceTime.
Onye Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator, and researcher currently serving as Dean of the University of Florida College of the Arts in Gainesville, FL. Actively presenting work since 1997, Ozuzu has presented work 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), and McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA). 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. Ozuzu has been Artist in Residence at Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative of the Rebuild Foundation, EarthDance Workshop and Retreat Center, Bates Dance Festival, Chulitna Wilderness Lodge and Retreat, and Lagos danceGATHERING in Lagos, Nigeria. 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. Her recent project, Project Tool, which explored the relationship between mind, body and tool, was a 2018 Joyce award and a 2016 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.
Qudus Onikeku, Artistic Director of Q Dance Center in Lagos, Nigeria and founder of the Lagos DanceGathering, is a Dancer, Acrobat, Choreographer, Blogger and an alternative artiste and actionist. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Onikeku is a graduate of The National Higher School of Circus Arts, France (Dance/Acrobatics). Traces of traditional Nigerian dances, hip hop, Capoeira, acrobatics and contemporary vocabularies are present in his dance, while he draws on his Yoruba culture and several other influences, to weave a certain understanding of the comedy and tragedy of human condition. For more than a decade Onikeku has maintained an active presence in the choreographic scene in Nigeria, and has been part of the new generation of creators springing up from Africa. Onikeku is known in Europe, the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean for his solo pieces, writings, and research projects. He has toured widely with works by renowned artistes such as Heddy Maalem, Christopher Abdul Onibasa, George Lavaudent, Jean Claude Galotta, and Mouise Touré.