Strong Wind, Deep Roots

Event Type
Event Description

Strong Wind, Deep Roots 

It has been both necessary to continue working through, and to
restructure how to work in response to the present pandemic. A place
many are in and still not unfamiliar to most: the work of
reformation. The least that can be said is there's a shock
identifiable by all, and a need to set our intentions in response.
Because so many people are continuing to work 'outside', I have been
able to 'stay in'. For this I have been grateful, and for having a
home base from which to work. Working as a writer in an only digital
space has been an exercise in memory while situating as a dancer and
choreographer in a solely digital sphere has been an exercise in


Prior to being able to shelter in place I was intentional about
prioritizing mounting dance performances in public: coffee shops,
park districts, classrooms, and art galleries, to normalize dance by
meeting audiences where they frequent and to invite movement into
everyday life. Inviting dance into everyday life breaks down an
occidental connection to dance as a commodity and rebuilds a
connection to dance as a social act. Working now has necessitated my
artistic inquiry into how this happens in a digital sphere (what can
be a private space): 1) In public space does the performer invite an
audience while in private space the audience invites a performance?
2) What is the importance of confronting themes both publicly and
privately? 3) How does the personal/public become public/personal and
how does the public/personal become necessary?


I learned how to grow cucumber and tomato plants from my grandmother. I
remember all of the bending and leaping, the catching and relaxing;
shaping and rearranging. I've imagined the gardens she came from—
her mother's in Youngstown, Ohio, and the gardens before hers in
Pensacola, Florida, before those in Cuba, and before those in the
multitudes of somewheres on the African continent. My
great-grandmother raised ducks, and canned pickles and hot peppers,
her mother made sofritos, her mother before her was a Mambisa who
probably raised bees and grew coffee in a mountain town, her mother
before her worked a sugarcane plantation forced onto Cuba, her mother
before her probably grew cashews in what is present day Nigeria, her
mother before her probably grew tomatoes before she was forced across
the Atlantic, her mother before her probably dried fish somewhere
inland near Biafra, and I: raise hens and grow collard, tomato, and
cucumber plants.

This performance is the journey of a seed braided into hair,

the foot path of a recipe in the mind,

the memory of a flavor combination on the tongue,

the oral history of a food preservation technique,

a harvest, of lands and seasons


Performance Linked here

And here:


coreographed & performed by Maya Odim, with performance resources provided by the Chicago Dancemakers Forum 


Running Time
30 minutes