You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.
© Marion Vogel

Bronx Gothic

Okwui Okpokwasili

Intimacies under construction

What do we need to survive? To be heard? To be seen? Since the creation of Bronx Gothic in 2014, U.S. dancer and choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili has taken this mythical piece to stages on several continents. In a powerful gesture of sisterhood, she has now handed it over Wanjiru Kamuyu, who gives a new body to this solo about the entanglement of violence and desire in the life of a prepubescent black girl in the Bronx.

Part dance, part theatre and part installation, the work is based on a raw exchange of letters, in which the intimacy of two young black girls develops in the shadows. With their troubling desires, first-time experiences and aggressions, they yearn to be visible to each other in a world that renders them invisible. Bronx Gothic is an embodiment of empathy; a razor-sharp performance that epitomizes an anti-racist, decolonial and feminist stance as it tells a singular human story.

General info

About the artist

© Michael Avedon

Okwui Okpokwasili (Brooklyn) Sweat Variant

Okwui Okpokwasili, a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist, comes from an immigrant family from Nigeria and grew up in the Bronx in the 1980s.


Full biography

Media Coverage

 “A mesmerizing and sometimes harrowing solo piece. […] Even as her narrative blurs and dims, Okpokwasili leaves us deep in the yearning, broken hearts of the Bronx girls.”

Tim Murphy, The New York Times (United States), 2014-01-15

 “I consider Bronx Gothic a masterpiece.”

Eylül Fidan Akıncı, The Theatre Times (United States), 2022-07-04

“Her work imagines women taking space and giving voice, looking at each other and asking: What do you need?”

Alexis Soloski, The Guardian (United States), 2019-05-27

 “A haunting, unflinching exploration of black female adolescence […] Blurring the real with the imagined and leaving us to contend with its uncertainties.”

Siobhan Burke, The New York Times (United States), 2017-07-05


 “What is important to me is to show the body as a human body. To create, to share a collective humanity. I’m interested in telling stories and talking about the social and political conditions in which we live. The text allows me to do this. I want these two languages, movement and text, to be always colliding, to be rubbing against each other.”

Read the interview