Photo by Erik Carter

Photo by Erik Carter


Jaamil Olawale Kosoko is a Nigerian-American poet, curator, and performance artist originally from Detroit, MI. He is a 2019 NPN Creation & Development Fund awardee, 2019 Red Bull Arts Fellow, 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow, a 2018 NEFA National Dance Project Award recipient, a 2018-20 New York Live Arts Live Feed Artist-in-Residence, a 2019 Gibney DiP Artist-in-Residence, a 2017 Jerome Foundation Artist-in-Residence at Abrons Arts Center, a 2017 Cave Cane Poetry Fellow, a 2016 Gibney Dance boo-koo resident artist, and a recipient of a 2016 USArtists International Award from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. His previous work #negrophobia (premiered September 2015, Gibney Dance Center) was nominated for a 2016 Bessie Award and has toured throughout Europe having appeared in major festivals including Moving in November (Finland), TakeMeSomewhere (UK), SICK! (UK), Tanz im August (Berlin), Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival (Norway), Zurich MOVES! (Switzerland), Beursschouwburg (Belgium) and Spielart Festival (Munich). His current work, Séancers, premiered at Abrons Arts Center in December 2017 and has toured nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. Recent highlights include Mousonturm (Frankfurt, DE), FringeArts (Philadelphia, PA), Sophiensaele (Berlin, DE), and the Wexner Center (Columbus, OH). In 2019, Séancers will have engagements at the Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX) and Montréal Arts Interculturels (Montréal, CA), among others.

American performance venues include: Abrons Arts Center, Joyce SoHo, DTW, FringeArts, Dixon Place, Dance Theater Workshop, Bennington College, Danspace at St. Mark's Church, the CEC Meeting House Theater, Wexner Center for the Arts, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, LAX Festival, Miami Theater Center, Art Basel Miami, and the Painted Bride Arts Center, among others.

He was a Co-Curator of the 2015 Movement Research Spring Festival and the 2015 Dancing While Black performance series at BAAD in the Bronx; a contributing correspondent for Dance Journal (PHL), the Broad Street Review (PHL), and Critical Correspondence (NYC); a 2012 Live Arts Brewery Fellow as a part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival; a 2011 Fellow as a part of the DeVos Institute of Art Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and an inaugural graduate member of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) at Wesleyan University where he earned his MA in Curatorial Studies.

His work in performance is rooted in a creative mission to push history forward through writing and art making and advocacy. Kosoko’s work in live performance has received support from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through Dance Advance, The Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, The Joyce Theater Foundation, and The Philadelphia Cultural Fund. His breakout solo performance work entitled other.explicit.body. premiered at Harlem Stage in April 2012 and went on to tour nationally. As a performer, Kosoko has created original roles in the performance works of Nick Cave, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Keely Garfield Dance, Miguel Gutierrez and The Powerful People, and Headlong Dance Theater, among others. In addition, creative consultant and/or performer credits include: Terry Creach, Lisa Kraus, Kate Watson-Wallace/anonymous bodies, Leah Stein Dance Company, Emergent Improvisation Ensemble, and Faustin Linyekula and Les Studios Kabako (The Democratic Republic of Congo).

In 2009, he published he chapbook, Animal in Cyberspace, and, in 2011, he published his own collection, Notes on an Urban Kill-Floor: Poems for Detroit (Old City Publishing). Publications include: The American Poetry Review, The Dunes Review, The Interlochen Review, The Broad Street Review, Silo Literary and Visual Arts Magazine.

Kosoko has served on numerous curatorial and funding panels including the Brooklyn Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, MAP Fund, Movement Research at the Judson Church, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Baker Artists Awards, among others. In 2014, Kosoko joined the Board of Directors for Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance professionals. He is also a founding advisory board member for the Coalition for Diasporan Scholars Moving.

He has held producing and curatorial positions at New York Live Arts, 651 Arts, and The Watermill Center among others. He continues to guest teach, speak, and lecture internationally.


Dramaturg and Publicity Consultant 
Emily Reilly

Special Projects Manager 
Tara Sheena

Tour Manager
Leonie Wiechmann 

Performance Research Assistant  
Alyssa Gersony

Production Manager
John D. Alexander

Grant Writer
Lingling Yang

Financial Advising
Amy Smith

Set Design
Peiyi Wong

Original Music and Sound Design
Everett Asis-Saunders

Performance Collaborators
mayfield brooks, Nile Harris, and Ima Iduozee