Onye Ozuzu

Artist Statement

How is the City your studio? "'The Technology of the Circle' specifically uses Chicago as a studio. With Chicago-based improvisers as the artistic experimenters and the workshop sites as culturally specific laboratories to investigate the fusion of distinct improvisational practices, the intended objective of the 'Technology of the Circle' performance process will be the crafting of layered, powerful, individual and embodied civic discourse. The circle serves as a structure for communities marked by difference to share a center in order to offer participants the opportunity to cultivate a group mind."

Featured Artist Portrait by Joe Mazza | Brave Lux Chicago

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.
Contemporary science confirms what dancers have long known—that our ability to perceive reality is dependent on movement: I move and therefore I know. I am interested in how we experience existence through the body and how that affects the choices we make socially and politically. Rather than thinking of technology as only external objects, what if we valued our bodies themselves as technology? What if we can extend our ability to hear, to see, to feel, to communicate through one another the way a phone, or the Internet can? How powerful could we be then?
What's Next?
I intend to share the “Technology of the Circle” performance process with more communities, including a potential Seattle tour. Additionally, I am pursuing tour possibilities for the recent success of “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady”—a performance of live dance and music in honor of Charles Mingus’ album of the same titled made in collaboration with jazz composer Greg Ward that premiered at Millennium Park (Chicago, IL).
Onye Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher currently on faculty at the Dance Department at Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (Manhattan, NY), KaayFecc Festival Des Tous les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), Lisner Auditorium (Washington, DC), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA), and Made in Chicago at the Pritzker Auditorium (Chicago, IL). She has been Artist in Residence at EarthDance Workshop and Retreat Center, Bates Dance Festival and ChulitnaWilderness Lodge and Retreat and Camp Merveilles.