Dancer-choreographer-teacher Onye Ozuzu, Dean of the Columbia College Chicago School of Fine and Performing Arts and former Chair of the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, will lead a showing of her new work Project Tool on Friday, September 8, from 6 to 9 PM as part of The Instigation Festival Chicago 2017. The Project Tool showing will take place at the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative at 1456 E. 70th St. on Chicago’s South Side. The showing is hosted by the Rebuild Foundation, a platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation that provides free arts programming, creates new cultural amenities, and develops affordable housing, studio, and live-work space in black communities. Ozuzu is currently a resident artist at the Rebuild Foundation.
Project Tool is a durational performance installation in which dancers explore, through the process of using hand-held tools and legacy processes, the interrelationships between mind, body, and tool. Through the research of building a wood sprung dance floor, the dancers collaborate with tools as if they are partners in a dance with the body. The practical making of the space through sawing, hammering, sanding, and nailing has unearthed an improvisational landscape in which tasks, tools, and body inform and form the dance.
As reported previously in this blog, Project Tool is being developed in association with two commissioning organizations — Links Hall in Chicago and Dancing Grounds in New Orleans — with the support of a 2017/18 Creation & Development Fund award from the National Performance Network. Ozuzu’s collaborators on this project include Columbia College Chicago alum Keyierra Collins ’16, a graduate of the Dance Center’s BA Program in Dance, as well as Columbia College student Keisha Bennett.