[WORLD PREMIERE] Okwui Okpokwasili & Peter Born: Adaku’s Revolt

View Program for Adaku’s Revolt

Created by Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born in collaboration with AJ Wilmore, Breyanna Maples, Audrey Hailes and Khadidatou Bangoura, Adaku’s Revolt is an interdisciplinary performance about one young black girl who revolts against imposed standards of beauty: a revolt against those who normalize the pain that must be endured, against the inevitable physical scarring that results from an assault of chemical straighteners and iron hot combs. Her heroism strikes a blow against those that would have her believe that her natural hair should be a source of humiliation, a triumph against the insidious self-loathing that attempts to seed itself in her most vulnerable moments. Recommended Ages 7+


Okwui Okpokwasili is a New York-based writer, performer and choreographer. In partnership with collaborator Peter Born, Okpokwasili creates multidisciplinary projects including Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance ( YR TK “Bessie” for Outstanding Production), Bronx Gothic (2014 “Bessie” for Outstanding Production) and Poor People’s TV Room, currently touring. Other recent projects, Sitting on a Man’s Head, premiered at the 2018 Berlin Biennale. Okpokwasili frequently collaborates with award-winning director Ralph Lemon. Select awards include a 2018 United States Artist Fellowship, the 2018 Alpert Award in Dance, and a 2018–19 Hodder Fellow at Princeton, and a Maggie Allesee Choreographic Fellowship, the Rauschenberg Residency, a 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award and a 2018 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship.


Peter Born is a director, designer and filmmaker. In addition to his Bessie Award-winning work with Okpokwasili on Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance, Bronx Gothic and Poor People’s TV Room, he has collaborated with David Thomson on a cycle of installation/performances, designed and created the set for Nora Chipaumire’s rite/riot, and created performance videos with Chipaumire, Thomson and Daria Fain among others. He is an art director and prop stylist whose clients include Vogue, Estee Lauder, Barney’s Co-op, Bloomingdales and The Wall Street Journal, with collaborators such as Barnaby Roper, Santiago and Mauricio Sierra, Quentin Jones and Kanye West.


Conceived by Okwui Okpokwasili

Choreographed & Created in Collaboration with Khadidiatou Bangoura, Peter Born, Audrey Hailes, Breyanna Maples & AJ Wilmore

Direction & Design Peter Born



Adaku • AJ Wilmore

Aunties/Ethereal ones • Audrey Hailes & Khadidiatou Bangoura

Aunty/Mother • Okwui Okpokwasili

Sister • Breyanna Maples


Production Manager, Technical Director & Lighting Supervisor Michaelangelo DeSerio

Shoe Engineer Keely Snook

Rigging Engineer Joseph Silovsky

Run Crew Gia Ramos & Norman Lander

Wig Consultant Amanda Miller

Costume Consultant Ayano Ganaha

Produced with Lucy Jackson and Miranda Wright for Los Angeles Performance Practice


Adaku’s Revolt is commissioned for the Tilt Kids Festival by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) with funding provided by The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and created with support from the Abrons Arts Center through the Abrons AIRspace Residency Program. LMCC’s Extended Life Program Dance Development Residency and the Collapsable Hole at Westbeth.


Image: Peter Born