NYFA Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili Announced for Fall 2015 Times Square Residency
“Times Square really frightens me, I always feel pulled, pushed and pumped there, I feel like I’ve fallen into deep water and I can’t swim”
NYFA Artist Okwui Okpokwasili (Fellow in Choreography, ’13) will participate in the Residency at the Crossroads program by Times Square Arts. The Fall Residency, in partnership with NYFA, takes place from mid-September until mid-December 2015 and writer, performer and choreographer Okwui is joined by collaborator Peter Born to explore the potential of creating one song from the disparate collection of voices that converge on Times Square.
Okwui and Peter will question whether the neighborhood can serve as a global commons for creative dialogue and exchange. By asking people to tell her what they’ve always wanted to share with the world, Okwui will explore whether a common cry, idea or desire emerges from their comments.
The Residency at the Crossroads program’s focus is to bring artists back to Times Square at the earliest point in creating new work for urban centers and use this iconic place as a laboratory for uncovering how users of public places behave and identify with an area. The artists’ subsequent discoveries, in turn, provide the Alliance with qualitative research to use in developing future programming for Times Square, New York’s town square.
“Times Square really frightens me, I always feel pulled, pushed and pumped there, I feel like I’ve fallen into deep water and I can’t swim—It fills me with a kind of delicious dread to see if a multitude of people will communicate an essential message to me and how I might compose that into a song to be shared,” said Okwui.
NYFA’s Executive Director Michael L. Royce expressed that, “It has been a rewarding pleasure to work with Times Square Arts on their inaugural Residency at the Crossroads program. We’re thrilled that NYFA Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili will have the opportunity to explore such an iconic public space over time and I’m looking forward to seeing her develop her own interpretation of this crossroads of cultures, voices and faces, so representative of New York itself.”
To learn more about the Residency at the Crossroads program, click here.
Okwui Okpokwasili has also been named Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts this year. Read more about the program in the New York Times article here.
– Mara Vlatkovic, Digital Communications Officer
Images, from top: Photo by Darial Sneed, Bronx Gothic, 2014; Okwui Okpokwasili, photo by Peter Born, 2014