Edge Residency 2022

Audrey Johnson & Nkeiruka Oruche
Thursday - Saturday June 2-4 & 9-11, 2022 at 8PM PT
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Thursdays at CounterPulse are pay-what-you-can. Friday and Saturday nights for this show, tickets are 50% off for Black folks. Use the discount code BLACKOUT at checkout.

NOTE: Clarissa Dyas will be performing for Laila Shabazz in Thursday evening’s performance of [and then we must be]

Join us after the show on Saturday June 11th for a reception and gathering for Black/People of African descent.

ARC Edge is an incubation residency and commissioning program for contemporary choreographers whose work is deeply curious about the intersection of art practice and social change. By eliminating boundaries between disciplines, between artists and audience, and between communities, Edge produces innovative performance works with transformational potential.

Inspired by ancestral, community-centered, and spiritual relationships to land and plants, [and then we must be] by Audrey Johnson is a research and ritual project honoring Black American practices with land and plants through the modes of food, farming, rootwork, and magic. The work honors the practices that get passed down through recipe, spell, and story, as well as the memories active and activated in the body, plants, the land (soil, clay, mycelium, strata), and in spirit. The dancing is a movement offering, ritual, and prayer: in communion with spirit, plants, and land. [and then we must be] is the process of meeting and being met by plants and land, and of allowing oneself to be changed.

‘Mixtape of the Dead & Gone #1’-  Egwu Onwu Ahamefula by Nkeiruka Oruche + Gbedu Town Radio. Every track must come to an end, but you don’t have to… If your final journey is to the land of ancestors, what would you leave behind? What would you take with you? When Ahamefula is faced with these questions, posed by #7, a Messenger on ‘Onye Ozi’ Ancestor app, sent to collect them, their first instinct is to run, until #7 offers Ahamefula a chance not to be forgotten. Afro Urban Society & CounterPulse present ‘Mixtape of the Dead & Gone #1’, a shit-just-got-real Afro-Urban dance-theater tale exploring the limits of stunting and reality, vibes and inshallah, legacy, heartbreak, and acceptance.

Notes from the process : [and then we must be]

Nkeiruka Oruche on ‘Mixtape of the Dead & Gone’, Proverbial Performance, and Igbo Practices of Mourning


Audrey Johnson (she/her) is a queer Black mixed-race movement artist with roots from Detroit and Plymouth Michigan, currently rooting in Oakland, CA. Audrey’s work lives, arrives, and changes in the realms of embodiment, movement, food, relationship, magic, ritual, plants, and land. Audrey’s project at CounterPulse will explore Black freedom practices in food, farming, and rootwork through dance, ritual, interview, and performance. www.audreyjohnson.space

Nkeiruka Oruche is a cultural organizer, producer and multidisciplinary artist, specializing in Pan Afro-Urban culture and its intersections with personal identity, public wealth and sociopolitical action. Currently, she is focused on expanding and sustaining grassroots change-making and community health through work as co-founder of BoomShake, and Afro Urban Society, and as Artistic Director of Gbedu Town Radio.

CounterPulse’s ARC Edge residency program is made possible with support from the Ken Hempel Fund for the Arts, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the California Arts Council,  the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Header Photo: Audrey Johnson by BMBO Creations. Nkeiruka Oruche by Brooke Anderson.



Saturday June 11’s show will feature live audio description for visually impaired audience members. Please note if you need this service when you order your tickets, and arrive at least 15 minutes early to check in with our AD coordinator, Gabriele Christian, courtesy of Gravity Access Services.

 Click here learn more about accessibility at CounterPulse

Check out more information about our COVID-19 protocols at in-person events



June 2
June 11