INTERVIEWS MAY ONLY BE REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION BY MNEMEDANCE
Feminist dance performer and choreographer NORA CHIPAUMIRE is being interviewed about the creative process of her choreographic works and autobiographical films as well as the transmission process of her dance knowledge. Beginning from the memories that nourished her artistic imaginary, she reveals that the universal topic of gender equality and specifically violence and women's situation in everyday life is at the core of her research. She also discusses how her cultural gaze and identity deriving from Shona African tradition enables her to filter the heritage of Western dance and the canon of European dance history by situating her work in a continuum of space and time. Her practice, known as Nhaka (meaning inheritance to Shona), questions what is a Black African body while her project Living Archive is centered around the notion of the body as an archive understood as bodily knowledge that when transmitted to others it enables dances, repertoires and techniques to stay alive and be preserved in all their multiple variations and manifestations.
NORA CHIPAUMIRE was born in 1965 in Mutare, Zimbabwe (then Umtali, Rhodesia) and is based in NYC. She has been challenging and embracing stereotypes of Africa, the black performing body, art and aesthetics since she started making dances in 1998.
Lately, she has been touring #PUNK 100% POP *NIGGA (verbalized as “Hashtag Punk, One Hundred Percent Pop and Star NIGGA”), a three-part live performance album which had its world premiere at The Kitchen in NYC in October 2018. Her other recent works include portrait of myself as my father (2016), RITE RIOT (2012) and Miriam (2012). She has been featured in several dance films and workshops transmitting her pieces (recently in digital spaces like Virtual Study for a Dark Swan 2020). Her long-term research project Nhaka, a technology-based practice and process to her artistic work, instigates and investigates the nature of black bodies and the products of their imaginations.
She received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), and is a four time Bessie Award winner. She was a proud recipient of the 2016 Trisha Mckenzie Memorial Award for her impact on the dance community in Zimbabwe, and was also nominated for a NAMA award as one of those exiled Zimbabweans making an impact on the arts at home and abroad in 2020. She is currently a Fellow at Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University (2020) and an Artist in Residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, LMCC (2019-2021).