Okwui Okpokwasili is a New York-based writer, performer and choreographer. In partnership with collaborator Peter Born, Okpokwasili creates multidisciplinary projects that are raw, intimate experiences. As a performer Okpokwasili frequently collaborates with director and choreographer Ralph Lemon.
I’m interested in stories as markers of presence, of absence, of perspective, of inclusion, and of exclusion. A story can make a slight indentation in a communal consciousness. But how is a story carried – in the body, between bodies? I’m interested in a story that leaks out of the body and signals the psychic and fraying seams of the person telling it. Live performance is a unique opportunity for a physiological and psychic exchange between the watcher and the performer and the simultaneous transmission of the “story”. There is, in the best circumstance, an enveloping, intangible skin that winds around both performer and audience, ensnaring, mesmerizing, appalling and enlivening.
I write text and develop a physical language for the characters, an external manifestation of an interior psychic condition. Within the narrative there is a point of view or a persona that becomes the primary focus in constructing a movement vocabulary. I want to root out a deeply personal and very specific reverberating body.
Bronx Gothic is my exploration of the body emerging through cracks and fissures, my attempt at reliving the feeling of being in the pubescent body within a narrative of sexual awakenings and exploits in the Bronx.