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Nora Chipaumire

2020-2021 Senior Fellow, Fairfield University College of Arts and Sciences

"I like to think of her as a Michelin-star-bedecked chef—when you sit at her table, you just have to trust and surrender: you may never know what she will cook up this time." – The Brooklyn Rail

Zimbabwe-born Nora Chipaumire has been challenging and embracing stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body for two decades. Her work fuses the personal and political experience of growing up in Zimbabwe, questioning how status and power are experienced and presented through the body.

Her work critiques colonialism and complicated notions of spectatorship and power. The human body for her, and for those born without property, name or class, can be a means of self-invention and self-determination.

After the 2018-19 residency and presentation of #PUNK100%POP*N!&GA, the Quick invited Nora Chipaumire to return to embark on her largest project to date – The Queen vs. Nehanda in a two week residency that took place in November 2019. The new work is a live opera that tells the heroic story of Nehanda, a Zimbabwean spirit of the Shona people that used women as her mediums.

Her work has earned her several awards including a 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts, a 2011 USA Ford Fellowship, and the 2009 AFROPOP Real Life Award for her choreography in the film, Nora. She is a three-time New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Awardee. She has studied dance in many parts of the world —including Africa (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Kenya, and South Africa), Cuba, Jamaica and the U.S.— and has led significant contemporary dance and choreographic workshops in east, central and West Africa.