by Paula Citron.
Chimurenga: a post revolution solo trilogy
Choreographed and performed by Nora Chipaumire
Newfoundland Festival of New Dance
In St. John’s
The Newfoundland Festival of New Dance is eighteen years old, and has developed a tried and true formula for success. The festival mandate is a mix of the challenging and the accessible.
New York’s Nora Chipaumire was born in Zimbabwe and her Chimurenga: a post-revolution solo trilogy is an anguished lament for her tortured homeland. The word chimurenga means struggle, cry or revolution.
What I found most striking about the piece is the charismatic Chipaumire herself. Tall and imperially slim, she is also magnificently conditioned with formidable muscular control.
The multimedia piece has video of still photographs and Zimbabwe television clips. The set itself is filled with hanging calabashes. There is also a pile of stones that stand for the rubble of her ruined country which Chipaumire periodically scavenges through. The score is a mix of African music and moody soundscape.
To be truthful, I found the accoutrements unnecessary because I just wanted to watch only Chipaumire who is a mesmerizing dance artist.