MacArthur Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili tells the story of a young black girl who summons her inner strength to revolt against imposed beauty standards and wear her hair naturally.
Creator and performer Okpokwasili and designer and director Peter Born collaborate on an interdisciplinary approach towards examining gender and culture through this captivating performance. The name Adaku, in the Igbo language spoken in Okpokwasili’s native Nigeria, means “one who brings wealth to the family.” In this narrative, Adaku’s wealth lies in protecting the precious landscape of her hair from existential threats. Often a young black girl with un-straightened hair is perceived by society as exuding signals of rebellion, unruliness, madness, and ugliness.
Adaku’s Revolt tackles what it might mean for a young girl to feel healthy and free from pain, even if she risks being ostracized.
Created by Okwui Okpokwasili & Peter Born
Choreography by Okwui Okpokwasili
Direction and design by Peter Born
Performed by Okwui Okpokwasili and three performers
Production managed by Michaelangelo DeSerio
Produced by Miranda Wright and Lucy Jackson for Los Angeles Performance Practice
Co-presented with the Abrons Arts Center.