MacArthur Fellow Dance Artist, Writer, and ChoreographeR
Okwui Okpokwasili is a Brooklyn based performer, choreographer and writer creating multidisciplinary performance pieces. The child of immigrants from Nigeria, Okpokwasili was born and raised in the Bronx, and the histories of these places and the girls and women who inhabit them feature prominently in much of her work. Her highly experimental productions include "Bessie" Award-winning Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance, "Bessie" Award winning Bronx Gothic, Poor People's TV Room, When I Return Who Will Receive Me, and Adaku's Revolt. Recent works include installations in the exhibitions: “Grief and Grievance, Art and Mourning in America” at the New Museum, “Witchhunt” at The Hammer Museum in LA, and “Sex Ecologies” at Kunsthall Trondheim in Norway. Commissions include the performance On the way, undone at the Highline in New York City and at Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival, the film Returning for Danspace Project, and the site specific performance Swallow the Moon at Jacob’s Pillow. She has worked with film and theater directors: Carrie Mae Weems, Ralph Lemon, Arthur Jafa, Terence Nance, Josephine Decker, Mika Rottenberg, Mahyad Tousi, Charlotte Brathwaite, Jim Findlay, Annie Dorsen and Peter Born. Okpokwasili was a 2018 Princeton University Hodder Fellow, a 2018 Herb Alpert Awardee in Dance, an Antonyo Awardee, a 2018 Doris Duke Artist Awardee, and a 2018 MacArthur Fellow. She was the inaugural artist for the Kravis Studio Residency program at MOMA in 2022.