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Friday | 6 p.m.

September 23, 2022

$30 | $5 Fairfield University student
Quick Member: $20

Kelley Theatre

Conceived as an African opera, choreographer nora chipaumire’s newest performance investigates the legend of Nehanda, a powerful Zimbabwean spirit venerated by the Shona people who inhabits only women. In 1896-97, Nehanda’s medium was a heroic revolutionary leader who orchestrated the first uprisings in British-occupied Southern Rhodesia. Together with four comrades, she was captured and, after getting an expedited and unjust trial, executed by the British colonizers, who were so scared that they ordered her bones and the skull to be sent to the UK.

Nehanda offers a legal and philosophical defense for these first historic heroes of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, with a libretto based on the infamous court case “The Queen [Victoria] vs. Nehanda” (1898). The operatic, movement-based theater performance is an immersive, participatory and durational spectacle where participants can collectively perform and investigate the process of law-making and its crucial role in the European colonial project.

nora chipaumire was born in Zimbabwe and is based in NYC, where her company 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 an MA in dance and MFA in choreography & performance from Mills College. She has studied dance in Africa, Cuba, Jamaica, and the U.S. and has performed her multiple award-winning works worldwide.

Learn More about nora chipaumire → Read a New Yorker feature story on nora chipaumire → Learn More about the Zimbabwean legend of Nehanda → Watch clips from the artist's award-winning performances → Read an article by Megan Lewis about artist, Peter Van Heerden →
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