Past Performing Arts | Dance

Abby Z and the New Utility

Radioactive Practice

Artist Residency | Award Winning Project | Midwest Premiere

 A dancer viewed from behind stretches out their arms

Drawing on a variety of movement styles, this genre-bending, Wex-supported work tests its performers' limits as they confront histories warped by racist, sexist, and classist misinformation.

Using their experience practicing a variety of movement styles—from hip-hop, postmodern dance, and contemporary African forms to tap, synchronized swimming, and other sports—choreographer and Ohio State alumnus Abby Zbikowski and the dancers of the New Utility break physical and mental barriers, redefining expectations through demanding and confounding physicality. With Senegalese dance artist and Ohio State Assistant Professor Momar Ndiaye as dramaturge, the crew explores the gamut of contemporary, COVID-era living—chock full of cultural collisions, unlikely relationships, minor to major misunderstandings, a drive toward logic, and the hard-wired need to survive. 

Radioactive Practice received significant commissioning support and several weeks of residency space as part of Zbikowski’s 2021 Wexner Center Artist Residency Award, allowing the work to premiere in May 2022 at New York Live Arts despite the challenge of creating during the pandemic.

Abby Z and the New Utility, Radioactive Practice, photo: Effy Falck.

More about the artist

Abby Zbikowski chevron-down chevron-up

Abby Zbikowski created her company, Abby Z and the New Utility, in 2012. Her work utilizes both the physical and psychological aspects of rigorously training in African and Afro-diasporic forms, as well as playing sports and performing other acts of manual labor. In 2017 she received the Juried Bessie Award for her “unique and utterly authentic movement vocabulary in complex and demanding structures.” Abby holds a BFA in dance from Temple University and an MFA in dance from Ohio State, where she is an associate professor in the Department of Dance. Learn more on the artist’s website.

Radioactive Practice was made with the support of a Wexner Center Artist Residency Award in performing arts.

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Wexner Family
National Endowment for the Arts
Ohio Arts Council
L Brands Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane
Axium Packaging
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
President Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica Meinhard
Nancy Kramer
Larry and Donna James
Lisa Barton
Johanna DeStefano
Jones Day
Alex and Renée Shumate


Past Performing Arts

Abby Z and the New Utility