Brooklyn-based choreographer, dancer and actress Okwui Okpokwasili’s multi-disciplinary performance piece Poor People's TV Room considers the collective amnesia around women's resistance movements in Nigeria, from the Igbo Women’s War of 1929 to the recent Boko Haram kidnappings and the "save our girls" campaigns. With collaborator Peter Born, she creates a dystopian narrative in which characters slip through the fissures of time, wandering in a bush of ghosts.
A post-showing artist and audience dialogue will be moderated by David Thomson, an award-winning performer and collaborative artist who has worked with such artists as Trisha Brown, Remy Charlip, Ralph Lemon, Sekou Sundiata, and Alain Buffard among others.
Okwui Okpokwasili performed her acclaimed Bronx Gothic at PS122 and developed their piece in residencies including the Parallels Series at Danspace Project, as a MANCC choreographic fellow, in the Studio Series Artist at New York Live Arts, an artist in residence at the Park Avenue Armory’s Under Construction Series and a participant in LMCC’s Extended Life Program. Her previous piece, Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance described as “ruthlessly clean and clever” by Helen Shaw of Time Out NY, premiered at PS122 and received a 2010 New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award. The New York Times has described her as “incandescent”.
Okwui’s work in multidisciplinary performance is best exemplified by her ongoing artistic collaboration with Ralph Lemon, the Bessie Award winning Artistic Director of Cross Performance. After completing the 2010 tour of Lemon’s How Can You Stay…, she performed an extended duet with Lemon in the Atrium at MOMA in conjunction with the exhibit, On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century. Okpokwasili also received a Bessie Award for her performance in the final part of Ralph Lemon’s Geography Trilogy Come Home, Charley Patton. In 2006 she was selected with Ralph Lemon as a FUSED- French US Exchange in Dance – artist, where she was given a three month residency to develop Pent-Up through Centre National de la Danse in Pantin, Paris.
Okpokwasili worked with Dean Moss and Laylah Ali in their collaboration, Figures on a Field, which premiered at the Kitchen in the spring of 2005, and went on to MassMOCA in 2006. She was an early collaborator on Democracy in America, which premiered at PS 122 in 2007 under the direction of Annie Dorsen.
Acting roles in NYC include: Leda in Sounding directed by Kristin Marting at HERE Arts Center, Goneril in Young Jean Lee’s Lear at Soho Rep, Joan in Joan Dark co-produced by The Goodman Theater and the Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture, Long Legged Ballerina in Richard Foreman’s Maria Del Bosco, Madame Laramie in Richard Maxwell’s Cowboys and Indians, Hilde in Nomad Theatrical Company’s The Master Builder under the direction of Victoria Pero and Othello in Donna Linderman’s Oth at Dixon Place. Film roles include Kim in Stephan Littger’s Malorie’s Final Score, O in Knut Asdam’s ABYSS, the Nigerian Tour Guide in Sydney Pollack’s The Interpreter, among others.
Okpokwasili is a graduate of Yale University.
BRIClab is a commissioning and residency development program for both emerging and established local artists to explore and expand the possibilities of their work in music, dance, theater and multi-disciplinary performance.
$10 Adv | $14 Door
The intimate, flexible studio space within BRIC House is dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists, with an audience capacity of 50-75 for rehearsals and performances in a workshop setting.
For ticketed events, the Box Office opens one hour prior to show time. Advanced tickets can be purchased online.