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Columbia College Chicago

Onye Ozuzu Appointed as New Chair of Dance Department

Onye Ozuzu has been appointed to the position of chair of the Department of Dance at Columbia College Chicago. Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher. She received a bachelor of arts degree in English literature with a minor in economics as well as a master's of fine arts degree in dance performance and choreography at Florida State University. She has most recently been serving as associate chair, director of dance in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her work has been notable for its balance of visionary and practical progress in the arenas of curricular, artistic and community development of diversity, collaboration and interdisciplinary performance arts. She teaches African-based contemporary dance technique, Composition, World Dance and Culture, Improvisation, Creative Dance for Children, and a graduate Seminar, The African in American, Perspectives and Implications: A Dancer’s View.

Ozuzu has been actively making and performing work since 1997. Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (New York, N.Y.), Kaay Fecc Festival De Toutes les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), Lisner Auditorium (Washington, D.C.), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans), as well as at many anonymous site-specific locations around the world. She was a 2010 recipient of the Innovative Seed Grant, University of Colorado’s most prestigious research grant, for her ethnographic research project ADADIA African Drum and Dance in America: the Oral History Archive.

“I am honored to accept the opportunity to serve the Dance Center at Columbia College as its chair. I look forward to getting to know and to working with the faculty in Dance and in the college of Visual and Performing Arts as a whole.” 
This summer she is returning to EarthDance Workshop and Retreat Center and teaching at Bates Dance Festival where she continues to expand work as an AfroModern contemporary technique teacher and on Technology of the Circle, a group improvisation and interdisciplinary performance process. Her most recent choreographic endeavor, And They Lynched Him on a Tree, is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort that premiered in February at the ATLAS Black Box Theatre, in Boulder, Colo., a center for the intersection of art, science and technology.

Thanks go to Dr. Raquel Monroe, assistant professor of dance, who chaired the search committee; Candice Hill Buchbinder (FPA Dean’s Office), who supported the work of the committee; and the committee: Paige Cunningham, John Green, Louise Love, Dardi McGinley-Gallivan, Kevin Rechner, Joe Steiff, Richard Woodbury and NiJa Whitson.