Thursday, February 21st, Rena Anakwe opens her 2019 residency with the premiere of “The Cosmology of Water,” an immersive, cleansing ritual that contemplates the pluralities that water holds as a molecular component of life, as a sacred space, and, at times, a site of destruction. Through a solo performance, Anakwe submerses attendees into a world of sound/voice, scent, movement, lighting and visual projections, as a new ritual is created for the audience to witness and actively participate in. Collaborators Kingsley Ibeneche (choreographer) and Kelley Shih (lighting designer) work with Anakwe to bring the materiality of water into ISSUE’s 22 Boerum theater with their distinct contributions to movement and lighting.
“The Cosmology of Water” is the first in a series of rituals that excavate connections between the five elements of nature in Anakwe’s development of a sensorial, diasporic healing practice. These rituals take into consideration a holistic approach to blending analog and digital creative technologies with spirituality.
Rena Anakwe, is a Brooklyn-based Nigerian-Canadian-American interdisciplinary artist and performer, working primarily with sound, visuals, and scent. Exploring intersections between traditional healing practices, spirituality and performance, she creates works focused on sensory-based, experiential interactions using creative technology. She is a Fall 2018 Signal Culture Artist-in-Residence, a 2018 Abrons Arts Center (AAC) Sound Series commissioned artist and has shown solo and collaborative audio/visual/scent work at: BRIC Arts, St. Augustine’s/Abrons Arts Center, MoMA PS1, Nublu 151, Times Square, Pioneer Works, Montez Press Radio @Mathew Gallery & Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair, H0L0, Mount Tremper Arts, Le Poisson Rouge, La MaMa E.T.C., Danspace Project, MAD Museum of Arts and Design, TCC Chicago (CHI), MINKA [BAX/Submerge! Festival], The Tank, CTM Festival/HAU Hebbel am Ufer at HAU1 (GER) and was a guest curator for Knockdown Center’s ‘Sunday Service.’ She has released solo and collaborative releases on: NON Worldwide (as DJ Lady Lane) and UNO NYC. And has had her sound art transmitted on: Radiophrenia (SCT), Radio Space/Borealis Festival (NOR) and Resonance FM (UK.) Rena is a graduate of: the Interactive Telecommunications Program (iTP) at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (MPS), The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University (MFA) and New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business (BS.)
Camden-based multimedia artist Kingsley Ibeneche is fresh on the music scene, but is no stranger to the stage. Trained in dance, Kingsley received a degree in Ballet Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Kingsley was born and raised in Camden, NJ to Nigerian parents. Soon after graduation he toured Europe, performing modern dance. In his free time, making beats and writings songs, he realized a need to explore music deeper. Kingsley roots himself in traditions of Nigerian dance and rhythm as well as other modes of expression, from jazz-infused vocals spread across octaves to intimate, entrancing lyricism, an emceeʼs swagger and flow. As a performer, Kingsley is a proven dynamist, having shared the stage with Travis Scott, James Blake, Halsey, and other household names. Ibeneche, commanding a lane of his own, is rising promisingly in the Philadelphia music scene.
Kelley Shih is a NYC based lighting designer for theatre, live events, music and fashion/retail. Music: The Internet (HiveMind Tour 2018, Laneway Tour 2018), KYLE at Madison Square Garden, Syd (Always Never Home Tour. Theatre: Biloxi Blues (Curtain Call Theater), Fit to Kill (Curtain Call Theater), Bullet Catchers (Clutch Productions and Josiah Grimm), The Blast (AmandaPlusJames), Capriccio (Apotheosis Opera), La Fancuilla del West (Apotheosis Opera). NYU Alum. kelleyshih.com