Carving out the social history of the Bronx promises, according to the artist statement, to provide viewers of this multidisciplinary performance with a glimpse inside the borough during the 1980s, “where Newports are bought in singles at corner bodegas, sex-saturated notes are passed in class and Orchard Beach erupts in flame.” This place, of course, was also the birthplace of hip-hop as the popularity of block parties drew out increasing numbers of Bronx youth, inspiring a quicksilver turntable culture among DJs and styles of musicality, rhythm and its attendant channels of movement that continue to ripple out across generations. Okpokwasili’s performances similarly carry the weight of a hard-borne authentic comprehension of her subject matter, rooted deeply and painfully in the experience of change, becoming and awareness of the profound cost of our new cultural understandings. Anyone serious about performance would be foolish to miss this one-night-only love letter to our histories of song, language and the harrowing specters of their necessary cost to our shared human natures. Presented as part of the DCASE OnEdge series. (Michael Workman)
Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born at Links Hall, 3111 North Western, (773)281-0824. Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20 at 7pm. Free.