Onye Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher currently serving as Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago. She has been actively presenting work nationally and internationally since 1997. Recently, she premiered Black Saint and the Sinner Lady at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park—a live dance and music performance in honor of Charles Mingus’ album, made in collaboration with jazz composer Greg Ward, and commissioned by Links Hall | Constellation. Her group improvisational score, The Technology of the Circle, was a featured presentation in Chicago Artists Month last fall.
I honor cross and intercultural explorations that are detailed enough to recognize the workings of things, deeper than aesthetics. I house the dance styles of many diverse aesthetic vocabularies in my body and that wealth of embodied information is a resource upon which I draw continually. Rather than just “collecting” these dance styles, I cultivate the ability to make choices among these techniques with an intention to access a purposefully hybridized movement practice. I make contemporary dance that is influenced but not dictated by traditional movement cultures in style, technique, concept and execution.
—Onye Ozuzu, Artist Statement
DURING THE CDF YEAR
Project Tool is 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, 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.