Technology of the Circle

Onye Ozuzu and Qudus Onikeku

Ozuzu and Onikeku are contemporary performance artists who approach improvisation through a shared transnational Africanness that is networked in the African Diaspora: Nigeria-US and Nigeria-France, respectively. This co-taught improvisational, process-based course is steeped in their respective understandings of Africanist aesthetics. Technology of the Circle will explore the circle as a structure for improvised group interaction: the circle of playground fights and politics of Brazilian Capoeira, of Jazz music, of B-boying/B-girling, of club culture cyphering and battling, of the swirling interaction of Aikido’s uke and tori, and of a salsa couple. The circle as it functions in human, social engagements will emerge as a foundational and fluid tool for the crafting of layered, powerful individual and communal performance. As a group, we will investigate a corporeal investigation based in West African dance Philosophy, an embodied philosophy that manifests multiple physical expressions, creating dualities and oppositions; an intentional double consciousness. We will work with contemporary dance movement, singing, writing, storytelling and drawing in an integrated process toward a group performance of improvised sophistication.

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