One year after You Got Served brought dance-floor battles to the big screen in 2004, Nora Chipaumire was awarded a New York Dance and Performance Award for bringing a much deeper conflict to life through dance. Her work, Chimurenga, will be presented at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse Friday and Saturday. The piece is a multimedia performance memoir that depicts the artist’s personal experiences growing up during Zimbabwe’s second War of Liberation. Through movement, music, and theater, she conveys the confrontations and charged atmosphere of southern Africa during her childhood. Chipaumire is a self-exiled artist who immigrated to the United States in 1989 and has studied dance formally and informally in Zimbabwe, Cuba, Jamaica, and California, where she received an MA and MFA in choreography and performance from Mills College in Oakland. Her show at the Light Box will include three parts: Chimurenga, Dark Swan, and Miriam. The last is a new work that draws from the life of Miriam Makeba, an iconic South African singer and civil rights activist known to many as “Mama Afrika.” The performance also takes inspiration from Chipaumire’s own experiences as a Zimbabwean expatriate and an artist. Among other themes, Miriam explores the burdens of fame and being cast as representative of an entire culture — and even an entire continent.
Fri., Jan. 20, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 21, 8 p.m., 2012