Following Chicago’s summer buzz around Afrofuturism, Peggy Choy and Onye Ozuzu collaborate in an evening of dance performances at Links Hall, RIVER · MOUTH · OCEAN: Explorations in Afro-Asian Futurism.
Through their own unique languages of dance Ozuzu and Choy explore water issues linked to cultural survival, environmental justice, and hybrid identities. The two artists initially connected through their shared experiences as contemporary dance artists whose training is based significantly in traditional non-western forms. Choy’s is Javanese, Korean dance and Chinese martial arts, and Ozuzu’s is Djembe dances of West Africa and Japanese martial arts.
Futurism, for Ozuzu and Choy, is a reference to a range of movements of social and aesthetic exploration that propel conceptions of humanity out of time/into the future…
From the exotic perception of African masks that inspired Picasso and the Cubists
To the hyper-nationalist futurism of Filipo Marinetti in early 1900 Italy
To the insistent paradigm shifting of George Clinton and the Pfunk
To sci-fi writer Octavia Butler
And American psychedelic soul and R&B singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe
Afro-Asian futurism functions as an important bridge in both Ozuzu and Choy’s orientation with respect to making work steeped in identifiable cultural markers yet re-mixed, reaching into a visionary future; to making work that dips into a sense of time heavily and ironically laden with circularity. Both artists work with mythological and ancestral material that evokes a sense of the past, like the term futurism itself. But like the narrative through-line of a free jazz composition, they engage performance and improvisational structures specifically intentioned to throw themselves open to flow.
Curious to see Ozuzu’s and Choy’s particular version of Afro-Asian futurism?
Check out the performance of RIVER · MOUTH · OCEAN at Links Hall, Chicago | October 10 -12 | Friday – Sunday at 7pm. Tickets are $10 General Admission.
Links Hall is located at Constellation, 3111 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618—convenient to the Belmont/Clyborn & Western CTA Bus Stop in Chicago’s Roscoe Village neighborhood. The former viaduct lot at Western and Belmont will be available to Constellation audience. For more information call 773.281.0824.