Okwui Okpokwasili’s Bronx Gothic

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Bronx Gothic was not about sex but more about sexual awakening and the not so tidy road you take to get there……often times asking yourself, “am I awake?”

 

A convulsing Okwui Okpokwasili claimed one corner of the curtained space insider the theater of the waterfront headquarters of FringeArt. Wearing a purple dress with her back exposed, the New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) award winner, appeared to be in a trance-like state in which the Gods were using her body as a vibrating vessel of stories to be told.

It was like watching the beginning of Nora Chipaumire’s Dark Swan.

White panels of fabric framed the intimate performance space while lamps and silk flowers traced the periphery of the stage. I wondered about the set choice but later realized the lamps were a part of the light design by Peter Born. This was the first time I had seen such a design and found it highly effective as it successfully aided in setting the moods that would be created as Okpokwasili relived memories.

The fact that patrons were still being escorted in, suggested the trembling Okpokwasili was a prelude to the main work; that Bronx Gothic had not begun.

But it had, and her quivering body turned out to be the proof. Read more. 

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