Onye Ozuzu is a performing artist, choreographer, administrator, educator, and researcher currently serving as the Dean of the College of the Arts at the University of Florida. Ozuzu has dedicated much of her work as a dance artist to cultivating space for diverse dance forms to exist in a pluralist relationship to one another. The deep juxtapositions in her birth and upbringing (biracial, intercultural, with American-Nigerian parents), her orientation towards physical training, and her professional practices have all resulted in understanding the body as technology and an archive that has the capacity to thread meaning through and across diverse languages. Physically, Ozuzu has negotiated the intersectionality in her body between many movement forms from tennis to ballet, West African dance to hatha yoga, freestyle house to salsa, contemporary dance to aikido. Rather than just “collecting” these dance styles, she has cultivated the ability to make choices among these techniques, like the relationship of a maker to their tools.
Artistically, Ozuzu has focused on the body as technology. Space Carcasses is the convergence of her interests in technology and the body and in trans+space+time Africanness. This interdisciplinary performance juxtaposes, superimposes, and amplifies the contested African diaspora relationship between the vaults on Factors Row in Savannah, Georgia; the architecture of La Rochelle, France; and the history of similarly complex sites (in terms of their connection to histories of humans traded as commodities) in Northern Nigeria. Developed in collaboration with visual and graffiti artist Native Maqari and video and projection designer Simon Rouby, the project will use 3D audio and visual technologies to record, recontextualize, and re-remember these spaces that echo with the impact of the events and experiences they have contained, particularly regarding African diasporic migrations. Interfacing the ephemeral residue of the body’s presence with these geographically disparate sites, Space Carcasses will reveal how space, place, history, and lineage are linked together.
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