Nora Chipaumire sensualizes African Dance

(Photo Courtesy Google Images)

Nora Chipaumire and  Okwui Okpokwasili  in Miriam 

 Nora Chipaumire body contorted, wine, bent and flowed to the spirit of Africa in pure eroticism.

It was quite an evening September 13 at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Fisher.

As a first time viewer of Chipaumire, I honestly did not know what to expect. It was quite different from your normal African dance, it was raw and dark. It was more than a dance. It was an expression of what the African continent has overcome and suffered over the years. Miriam, composed by Omar Sosa and perform by Chipaumire and Okpokwasili essentially was based on Miriam Makeba the singer but also Miriam of the Bible. It certainly was one of those performances that challenges you to see things differently. I did not expect the raw sexuality in the dance. Nor the several references to the “White man” during the portrayal of a police raid in apartheid South Africa. I felt the pain, the jubilation, the insecurity and revolt in the dance. And the sound of stones, water and speech that calm or jolt the senses. In a post show interview, Chipaumire said there is nothing the body cannot say that words can say – the body is stronger and can express more quickly.

Africa, the whole continent of Africa was a crime scene she said. And in Miriam she decided to address that. And even though her power is limited in the changes that she can bring. Chipaumire said, “I can try and change the very intimate space around.”

Well done Chipaumire and I look forward to more.