In this visceral exploration of African masculinity, Zimbabwe-born, Brooklyn-based choreographer Nora Chipaumire is joined by the specters of her estranged father.
In a makeshift boxing ring, under the harsh glow of halogen work lights, the three trade jabs steeped in Chipaumire’s trademark synthesis of contemporary African movements. Clad in boxing gloves, football pads, and sacred West African gris-gris (or talisman), they teeter between combat and play, exploding and exploiting stereotypes of black manhood in an uncompromising exchange.
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 internationally in France, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Zimbabwe, and many other places.
Her newest work, portrait of myself as my father (2016), is a National Performance Network Creation Fund project, co-commissioned by Miami Dade College, in partnership with Miami Light Project, 651 Arts, Columbia College and Georgia Institute of Technology. It is the companion piece to rite riot (2013), a 75 minute solo rendering of The Rite of Spring, commissioned by French Institute Alliance Française and presented at Crossing The Line festival in New York City and Les Subsistances in France.
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.
Eventz Paul is currently the Technical Director and Productions Manager at Miami Light Project. He has been a part of this organization since 2011. He participated in Miami Light Project’s first class of the Technical Fellowship Program held at The Light Box. He joined this program hoping to improve his existing theater skills. He received training from experts in the industry that mentored and further his theater technical skills. Now, he has successfully used his professional knowledge and has had the opportunity to work with various arts organizations and venues throughout Miami including Miami Theater Center, National Young Arts Foundation, the Colony Theatre and many more. He has become an instructor and conducts audiovisual classes to incoming technical fellows.
Beth Boone has been the Artistic & Executive Director of Miami Light Project since 1998, developing critically acclaimed artistic programs that have asserted the organization as one of the leading cultural institutions in South Florida. These programs include: the establishment of Here & Now, South Florida’s most respected commission and presenting program for community-based artists; premiere presentations of internationally acclaimed; pioneering historic international cultural exchange with Cuba; and the creation of The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, a multi-use performance and visual art space in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. She previously served as Associate Director of Development for Florida Grand Opera, Deputy Director for the Department of Cultural Affairs at Miami Dade Community College, Wolfson Campus, co-founded an Off Broadway theater company (New York Rep), and served for six years as a Program Associate in the Arts & Culture Program of the AT&T Foundation. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and a MFA in Theater Arts from Brandeis University in Boston, MA.