Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe and based in NYC, nora chipaumire has been challenging and embracing stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body, art, and aesthetic. She is a graduate of the University of Zimbabwe’s School of Law and holds a M.A. in Dance and M.F.A. in Choreography & Performance from Mills College. She has studied dance in Africa, Cuba, Jamaica and the U.S. and has performed her works worldwide. Chipaumire is a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant recipient and a 2015 Doris Duke Artist. She was a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University in 2014-2015, 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts recipient and 2011 United States Artist Ford Fellow. chipaumire is a three-time New York Dance and Performance (aka “Bessie”) Awardee: in 2014 for the revival of her solo Dark Swan set as an ensemble piece on Urban Bush Women (UBW), in 2008 for her dance-theater work, Chimurenga, and in 2007 for her body of work with UBW—where she was a featured performer for six years and Associate Artistic Director in 2007-2008. She was a MANCC Choreographic Fellow in 2007-2008 : 2009 and 2015 and was awarded the 2007 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award from Wesleyan University Center for the Arts. Her work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Le Monde, Johannesburg Sunday Times, and supported by the MAP Fund, the Jerome Foundation, NYFA B.U.I.L.D., National Dance Project, NYSCA, The Joyce Theater Foundation with support from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Cultural Innovation Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts. nora has also been featured in several dance films including Cassa Cassa (dir. Elodie Lefebvre, 2011) nora (Dir. Alla Kogan and David Hinton, 2009). She made her directorial debut in spring 2016 with Afro Promo #1: Kinglady commissioned by Dance for Film on Location at Montclair State University. Her current and ongoing projects include chicken farming in Burkina Faso and creating “living archives” with contemporary dancers in Harare, Zimbabwe.
#PUNK 100% POP *NIGGA
(World Premiere, Spring 2018)
#PUNK 100% POP *NIGGA (verbalized as “Hashtag PUNK, One hundred percent POP Star NIGGA”) is a live performance album inspired by Chipaumire’s formative years in Zimbabwe during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. The triptych explores three sonic ideologies: punk, pop and rumba, that are confronted and celebrated through iconic artists: Patti Smith, Grace Jones, and Rit Nzele, respectively.
In #PUNK 100% POP *NIGGA she challenges traditional rules of dance performance, crossing into the realm of live art by refusing to separate the choreographic, sonic, and visual elements. Each 40- minute set presents distinct sonic and visual landscapes, created by incorporating voice, dance, lecture, installation and performance. The sets could be performed individually or collectively as an epic song cycle.
Having inherited Zimbabwe’s historic and political baggage, she uses her work to question how status and power are experienced and presented with the body. For she and others born without property, name, or class, the human body poses a possible salvation–a manifesto or a vehicle for potential self-invention and self-determination. #PUNK 100% POP *NIGGA is a continuation of her career long
investigation of portraiture and self-portraiture, biography, subjecthood, liberation, and independence.
portrait of myself as my father
Zimbabwe-born Brooklyn-based Dancer-choreographer nora chipaumire continues her investigations on the black body, on Africa, and on the self. portrait of myself as my father takes place in a simulated boxing ring in which chipaumire and Senegalese dancer Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye, also known as Kaolack (a former performer with Compagnie Jant-Bi), are tied together in an exhausting and symbolic dance-ritual. They are joined by Jamaican-born, Brooklyn- based dancer Shamar Watt, who plays the coach/corner man/cheerleader/shadow. In this performance, the spectres of the estranged father dance, struggle, and ght against prejudices, social pressures, the weight of traditions and history. The piece considers the African male through the lens of capi- talism, Christianity, colonialism and liberation struggles—and how these political and cultural traditions impact the African family and society on a global scale. The imaginary daughter and father are tethered to the stage and to each other: they are both linked and opposed, and the elastic bands are a literal and figurative connection that questions family ties.
The show also celebrates and critiques masculinity: its presence, presentation, and representation. This timely examination of black maleness asks: What is it about the black male body that we fear?
portrait of myself as my father was commissioned by Peak Performances @ Montclair State University, and was a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by MDC Live Arts in partnership with Miami Light Project, Georgia Institute of Technology, 651 ARTS, and The Dance Center of Columbia College. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency).
Development and production was funded in part by The Map Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and New York State Council on the Arts.
Residency support was received from the Dance in Process Program at Gibney Dance; also from MANCC, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Miami Light Project, 92Y Harkness Dance Center, Amherst College, and École des Sables. Additional Support: The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, The Suitcase Fund, The Japan Contemporary Dance Network (Kyoto), and Les Subsistances (Lyon).
The presentation of portrait of myself as my father was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
#PUNK (US Premiere of Part 1 of 3)
September 14 – 15, 2017| FIAF/Crossing the Line | New York, NY
portrait of myself as my father
October 29-31, 2017| Munich Festival, Germany
March 23-25, 2017| Walker Art Center| Minneapolis, MN
100%POP (World Premiere of Part 2 of 3)
April 29, 2018| Let’s Dance International Frontiers | Leicester, England