MacArthur Genius and Bessie Award-winning Okwui Okpokwasili brings her latest multidisciplinary adventure, “adaku, part 1: the road opens” to the REDCAT stage this Thursday through Saturday, May 25-27, at 8:30 p.m.
Together with her ever-present lighting and directing collaborator and husband, Peter Born, the Bronx-raised, Brooklyn-based artist presents a chapter of what is described in promotional materials as a “speculative mythology, a precolonial African village at the cusp of a major upheaval.”
Exploring “the fraught relationship between ancestors, future generations, and the role of ritual,” the creator has been labeled as a “riveting presence in her own unclassifiable creations” by the venerable Dance Magazine, “leaving an audience vibrating, moved by images and incantations that linger long after a performance has ended.” This intermission-less 75-minute work for seven performers (including Okpokwasili) is said to mix textures, shadows and rhythmic humming into a close-up and personal interaction between those onstage and the audience.
Yale graduate Okpokwasili’s numerous awards include the French American Cultural Exchange (2006-2007); Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Choreographic Fellowship (2012); New York Foundation for the Arts’ Fellowship in Choreography (2013); Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ artist grant in dance (2014); and Mellon Creative Futures Fellowship at Carolina Performing Arts. She was the 2015-2017 Randjelovic/Stryker New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist (RCA), a 2018 Princeton University Hodder Fellow, a 2018 Herb Alpert Awardee in Dance, an Antonyo Awardee, and a 2018 Doris Duke Artist Awardee. She was the inaugural artist for the Kravis Studio Residency program at MOMA in 2022.
—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA
REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., LA 90012
Photo courtesy of the artist