Nora Chipaumire ~
Dancer, choreographer, Zimbabwean artist
A piece from the ever flowing soul of my darling dearest Ms. Amanda Perez-Castro :
Excitement to see Nora Chipaumire had been churning within me from the moment I purchased my ticket. I had never heard of this woman before but there is something about the curiosity of a new discovery that leaves me with a life high. Walking into the Goldman Warehouse only intensified my excitement as I was submerged into a spring of stimulated individuals conversing of the mini adventures their commute had entailed. The cherry on top of the ambiance was the demoiselle handing out the programs in her red polka dot dress, rouge lips and retro 50s spectacles that turned up at the top corners. As my eyes traveled from the program just handed to me, to the room I was about to enter, I reached the climax of my excitement. There were only four rows of chairs to choose from! The intimacy of the show took me by complete surprise! I was accustomed to observing dance shows in large theatres. The only shows similar in size of which I personally attended had been performed by vagabond musicians in smoke tainted nooks.
As the twentieth hour was approaching, I began to absorb the rocks laid out on the marley which were foreshadowing Nora’s organic realness. My next conscious observation was of the entire audience giving a standing ovation. I had been hypnotized by her motions and compelling energy and felt as if I just experienced an abstract dream. I returned to a clip of the dream the following morning as the sun was shining in on my shower serving as a spotlight while the water trickled down my face. It took me to the moment Nora immersed her head into the pail while she simultaneously triggered a firearm aimed at my core. My first reaction to being shot was shock, a shock to the beauty of the purity that action held as well as a shock to how powerful it was. As she slowly unfolded her spine vertebrae by vertebrae and meticulously knotted her hair with three fingers, I began to feel the blood pouring out of my wound. I will have that scar on my chest forever. That excitement I had felt only an hour prior had melted into a plashet of awe.
The entire Nora experience was chill eliciting and eye prying. I believe part of Nora’s intent is to open naïve eyes to different cultures, different lives lived and the different unique styles of expressing those differences. I appreciated the repetition Nora incorporated into her choreography. The repetition put emphasis on certain movements that should and will be remembered. This show left me hungry. Not because it wasn’t fulfilling but because it reinforced “All I know is that I know nothing.”
“Nora Chipaumire is a remarkable solo artist who investigates the collaborative process within cultural, political, economic, and technological identities of African contemporary life. Her work is transnational, unafraid, and eager to burn cultural, creative, and geographic boundaries whilst illuminating what it means to be Zimbabwean/woman/black /human in an increasingly borderless world. She views the theatrical stage as a "harrowing place of purging and paradoxically a place for reclaiming strength" (The Village Voice).
"Among other interests that influence her work, Chipaumire includes fashion design, fashion modeling, photography, film acting and radio, and club DJ-ing. "
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