Ogemdi Ude

Since graduating from Princeton last year I have moved from Princeton to Berlin to Melbourne, where I am currently based as part of my Sachs Global Scholarship year. The aim of my scholarship project has been to extend the research I began with my independent work in the English Department: examining the sociopolitical impact of black performance art.

I want to balance a career in academia with a career in the arts, continuing to allow my black performance theory research to influence my directing and choreography practices. While in Berlin I participated in a three-month experimental dance program, further developing my training in dance technique and theory. After Berlin I moved to Melbourne, where I am currently focusing my research on the relationship between African American and First Nations contemporary performance methodologies. I am interested in how our shared blackness is similarly expressed in contemporary performance, and also in how both groups use performance as a method to foster safe spaces for healing in the midst of sociopolitical oppression.

Studying English at Princeton helped me create a direct pathway between critical theory and artistic performance, a joint focus that continues to inform and shape my creative work. In addition to a new dance theater piece that incorporates my research into the intersections of African American and First Nations performance, I am also taking on various dance, film, and theater performance opportunities. I hope to move to New York by January of 2018 where I plan to continue my dance and theater work, concentrating on performances that involve black performers and that address issues facing black people.