ICA: Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born
Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born’s multidisciplinary performances intersect at the meeting point of dance, theater, and visual art, expanding the formal boundaries, creative framework, and narrative possibilities of contemporary performance. Combining movement, song, and storytelling, their work reframes the oral traditions of West African griot poets and musicians, importing and updating ancient techniques for contemporary audiences. As a first-generation U.S. citizen born of Nigerian immigrant parents, Okpokwasili creates work as both an American and an outsider; her identity is rooted in the African traditions taught to her by her parents, but mixed with the American culture she experienced growing up in the United States. Okpokwasili and Born create stories that unearth nearly forgotten narratives — particularly those of Black women — and pursue themes that historicize and memorialize their stories. For this world-premiere performance, the pair create a mythology and speculative imagining of a precolonial African village at the cusp of a major upheaval that will set the course of one family’s entanglement in the horrors of chattel slavery. By abandoning traditional linear narrative structures, Okwpokwasili and Born’s performance unfolds within the past and present simultaneously, allowing the ghosts of history to haunt and inhabit our present.
Seating for this performance includes standard house and on-stage seating. Seats are sold as general admission tickets and are selected in the theater on a first-come, first-served basis.