Friday, June 20, 2008

Collaboration with Nora Chipaumire

Since I mentioned this collaboration before, I wanted to give you at least one visual from the rough draft performance. I'm off to London soon so I'll be thinking about her choreography constantly while I'm away. Nora divided her movements into four sections, reflecting four ways that Africa is branded (I'm quoting from my memory of the dance, not from Nora directly)—1) the tourism brand, the violent brand, the real brand (that is rarely heard), and the exotic brand. Dearest expats, especially who have lived in Africa, I'd love to hear your thoughts on these ideas. I'm still developing the imagery and need all of the stories I can gather.

More about Nora is at I love this section of her biography. She has such a fascinating history.

Nora won a 2007 Bessie Performer Award for her performances during Urban Bush Women's Joyce season. In Dance Magazine's May 2008 issue, Eva Yaa Asantewaa writes, "Nora Chipaumire is a lioness--a regal, iconic presence hailed for her performances with Urban Bush Women as well as her own solo creations." The article continues to comment on Nora's law school degree and her decision to switch to contemporary dance so that she can take charge of how Africans are seen. Nora says, "Art can be transformative, reach a higher place in humanity without being dogmatic...for Africans, dance is a fundamental, democratic way to communicate."

1 comment:

The pale observer said...

Hi Joelle - I'm a Canadian expat - living in Ghana West Africa for the past 12 years. I blog about my experiences here. Please have a look at my site.

I don't know much about Nora but will follow some of the links to find out more about her work. Would like toshare as much as possible where I can as an Expat in Africa!