On Friday afternoon, on the top floor of the Norlin Library, Oyne Ozuzu shared new dance choreography with a group of students and community members in a series called Performance Friday.
“The Center for Humanities and the Arts has been sponsoring the Performance Friday series since the 2002-03 academic year when the annual theme was ‘Bodies, Voices, Performance.'” said Paula Anderson, Center for Humanities and Arts staff member. “We liked the event so much we decided to continue the series.”
Performance Fridays are held once a month, September through April, on Friday afternoons from noon to 1 p.m. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for a free, light lunch, and the performances are open to the public, Anderson said.
Performances alternate each month between music, theatre and dance, Anderson said.
“Our hope is that we can bring the arts a little more into the lives of those in both the CU community and the Boulder-area community,” Anderson said.
Ozuzu, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, showed video footage of a work currently under construction, explained the history behind the African dance form and performed her new choreography Friday.
“It’s a work in progress; it’s an improvisation. I’m still figuring out as I go,” Ozuzu said of the black-face menstrual show dance she preformed Friday.
Ozuzu wore the paint of the black-face menstrual show dancing in her performance. Her eyes and mouth were exaggerated with a red, white and black rings of paint. The soles of her feet and hands were also covered in red paint.
Ozuzu stepped out on the large, white canvas and danced. Her movements were occasionally restricted to the top part of her body alone, and then the movements moved to the entire body. At times she was standing and at others her entire body was laying on the canvas.
Friday’s performance was Ozuzu’s fourth performance of this particular style.
As she moved, traces of the paint were left behind.
“I’m interested in the idea of the performance leaving physical evidence,” Ozuzu said as she pointed to two other white canvases from her previous performances.
The performance was of a type that many students had never experienced.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this. The performance was quite bold,” said Lindsey Spencer, a senior finance and accounting major. “It was interesting to be able to hear the history behind the African dance form before seeing the performance.”