The Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance is excited to announce award-winning Brooklyn/Harare choreographer and performer, Nora Chipaumire in residence. She will share the results of her week–long workshop for one night only on Feb 4 in the Holden Theater from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Open seating, no reservation required.
Chipaumire will be working with Amherst College Visiting Professor and freelance director Charlotte Brathwaite on Portrait of Myself as My Father a companion piece to her 2013 solo, rite riot. Chipaumire states: “I am interested in family and the role of men in the family. I do not want to presume to know what it means to be a man, so this whole exercise is false/fictional as it has to be. My own father was MIA (missing in action) most of life, therefore, I am creating a portrait of him as I would have wished him to be, as a man such as Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah or even Nelson Mandela.”
Nora has challenged and embraced stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body, art, and aesthetic for the past decade. In her recent past evening length works, Miriam (Brooklyn Academy of Music 2012) and rite riot (Crossing the Line Festival 2013), Chipaumire has faced some of the most current trends in dance in working with dramaturges and directors. She questions dances’ need for this. Does a choreographer need a director/dramaturg? What can dance learn from theater traditions? How do collaborations affect the traditional roles of choreographer and director? These questions have led Chipaumire to collaborating with Brathwaite. During the week–long residency they will continue to explore the role and relevance of a choreographer, director/dramaturge working together, constructing a text and exploring the architectural structure that will undergird Chipaumire’s upcoming project. Together they aim to create a relevant collaborative method that neither negates nor overwhelms the virtues of their respective working genres.