St. Mark’s Church
131 East 10th St.
New York, NY 10003
Phone (212) 674-8112
Tickets (866) 811-4111

Performance dates

Friday, February 28, 6-10pm
Friday, March 6, 6-10pm
Friday, March 13, 6-10pm
Friday, March 20, 6-10pm

The box office for Sitting On a Man’s Head will open at 5:30pm. Ticket holders are welcome to enter anytime between 6-9:45pm.

One of PLATFORM 2020: Utterances from the Chorus‘s central questions “How do we weave a collective song?” builds on the ideas behind Okpokwasili’s and Born’s durational piece, Sitting On a Man’s Head.

Okwui’s 2016 research into Nigerian women’s embodied protest resulted in the durational performance created by Okwui and Peter. The practice known as “sitting on a man” was a disruptive durational practice and a public act of shaming carried out by a collective of women in Southeastern Nigeria. It involved gathering in the private courtyard of a colonial official, dancing and singing songs that expressed their grievances and was designed to embarrass the official until he promised to address their concerns. This practice was used by women as a critical tool to protect their economic and social interests.

Rather than “shaming” or seeking redress, Okpokwasili’s and Born’s Sitting On a Man’s Head is an attempt to create a “space of restoration and restitution,” write Okpokwasili and Born. “We are engaged in a creative practice concerned with the formation of new bonds of kinship. In collaboration with a select group of artists, we use the tools of our performance practice to build a space for the creation of an improvisational public song composed of aural and choreographic gestures. Can a shared creative practice be generative and generous while also being instructive in imagining new possibilities of communal relations?”

The work features rotating chorus of 30 performers, who will activate the performance: Martita Abril, Peter Born, Jennifer Brogle, mayfield brooks, Leslie Cuyjet, Eisa Davis, Brittany Engel-Adams, Lily Gold, Melanie Greene, Audrey Hailes, Jasmine Hearn, Justin Hicks, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Chaesong Kim, Tendayi Kuumba, Breyanna Maples, Anais Maviel, Okwui Okpokwasili, Kay Ottinger, Jess Pretty, Greg Purnell, Katrina Reid, Jean Carla Rodea, Samita Sinha, Tatyana Tenenbaum, David Thomson, Pyeng Threadgill, Asiya Wadud, AJ Wilmore, and Nehemoyia Young

Part of PLATFORM 2020: Utterances from the Chorus