Drawing inspiration from Victorian-era novels and West African griot storytelling, Okwui Okpokwasili's Bronx Gothic reveals a dark and powerful tale of sexual self-discovery, the (brown) body in transformation – and the humor, the love, the strangeness, and even the terror that accompany it. At the intersection of theater, dance, and visual art installation, Bronx Gothic gives palatable force to the charged relationship between two girls on the verge of adolescence in 1980s outer-borough New York City. Their lives are revealed with unflinching honesty as clandestine, sex-saturated notes are passed between them. Okpokwasili’s unforgettable, intensely physical performance pushes against extremes and reverberates with a potency that threatens to break the body in this partially-true chronicle of one woman’s past.
“In language that is by turns blunt and poetic, crudely funny and incantatory, Ms. Okpokwasili conjures and probes this adolescent friendship, a jumble of insults, anger and love… A magnetic performer“ – The New York Times
The presentation of Bronx Gothic was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
This presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from Ohio Arts Council and General Mills Foundation.
Produced by MAPP International Productions, Bronx Gothic was co-commissioned by Performance Space 122, Danspace Project, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and the Jerome Foundation with residency support from Park Avenue Armory's Under Construction Series, New York Live Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and LMCC's Extended Life Dance Development program.