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past work  |

Dark Swan | 2005 -2018

dark swan serves as a reminder of how living work lives from one body to another from one time to another from one purpose to another  I made dark swan for my mother | the late | Francisca Saungweme | a salute to the black African woman . dark swan served then and now as an alternative swan | in the pantheon of swans | black swan | white swan | dark swan Michel Fokine’s legendary choreography for the legendary dancer Anna pavlova What would this Russian masterpiece look like if were imagined for a savanna landscape On a black heroine I had these thoughts in mind as Dafur | South Sudan unfolded hundreds of African women marched off their lands into unknowns futures + imminent deaths . I recalled the my own mother ‘s courage and her refusal to surrender   Dambudzo Marachera’s house of hunger and his traumatized | stubborn shona women | was an important influence for this dark swan A swan that refuses to die

As this works moves more and more into other and non zimbabwean  bodies     I welcome the challenge of looking at how work lives          How archives become living archives the prevention | accumulation | reinvention of knowledge

The award winning "Dark Swan"  was first created as a solo in 2005 by and for nora chipaumire  . The work has grown into a much celebrated group work and has been performed by the NYC based Urban Bush Women amongst others . Tumbuka Dance Company is the first African contemporary dance company to perform this work .


photo credit:  Barczyk Bartmomiej 

Past Performances:

dark swan revival | E-Moves at Harlem Stage | performed by Shamar Watt | NYC | May 2-5, 2018 

dark swan revival- The Rubin Museum of Art: Pentacle Dance Series: SUSPENDING TIME: performed by Shamar Watt | NYC| April 18, 2018.

dark swan | commission UBW -  The  JOYCE 2014 NYC

dark swan _tumbuka -  /HIFA  Harare International Festival of the Art ; Zimbabwe  7 Arts Center. 2016

dark swan | solo | 2005 - The FLEA  NYC  

dark swan | solo |  Jacob’s Pillow dance Festival - Inside Out - Becket, MA. 2007 

dark swan | solo | Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, MA.

dark swan | curated by POOH KAYE. Vermont.

dark swan + poems - Bytom, POLAND , 2006  

dark swan | Kay Fecc Festival , Ecole des Aables - 2007 

dark swan + poem | OPEN LOOK International Dance Festival , St. Petersburg - Russia - July, 2006

Poems + dark swan | Tangente  Montreal , Canada. 

dark swan |  Summer Stage |  Boston . MA.


nora chipaumire Rite Riot

Rite Riot | 2012


"I have been in awe of The Rite of Spring, both Igor Stravinsky’s music and Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography, since my first encounter with the work as a student. What fascinated me initially, perhaps naively, was its interrogation of primitivism, the artist-led movement that saw Europe engage with the ‘other’ in ways that brought recognition to the art and humanity of the ‘other’ for the first time during Europe’s mission to ‘civilize the primitive’, that is to say, the non-European, world. Primitivism seemed to be centered in Paris, a city that historically had been the epicenter of the avant-garde. That Russians came under the influence of this movement and had such success in Paris excited me. Is it the experience of the city? Or is it being away from home, in exile? " nora

Past performances:

Crossing the Line Festival, FIAF. October 3-5, 2013. {here}

Les Subsistances Lyon, France, November 16-17, 2013. {here}



nora chipaumire Miriam Makeba

Miriam | 2012

Past performances:

Alverno College (Milwaukee, WI), 

Brooklyn Academy of Music (Brooklyn, NY)

Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park, MD)

Diverseworks (Houston, TX)

EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic. Troy, NY. October 5, 2012. {here)

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT)

Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX)

Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA)

Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh, PA)

MASS MOCA (North Adams, MA)

Miami Light Project (Miami, FL)

New Art New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)

Portland Institute of Contemporary Arts (Portland, OR)

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA).

Les Subsitances Festival in Lyon, France, 2013.


“Chipaumire has become a rock star of downtown dance, with a majestic quality that blows everything else out of the water.” – Dance Magazine

“Ms. Chipaumire is an artist of ferocious intensity” – The New York Times. {here}


Miriam seeks both to capture the darkness associated with Africa and to undress baroque Western fears of the continent. Miriam does that and more.” – Willamette Week


“Chipaumire presents herself—a woman heroic in scale, fearless, thrilling in intensity—as an embodiment of (iconic women’s) power and sense of mission.” – DanceBeat


"By the time Miriam concludes, in a blaze of light, you will have visited the place of the ancestral and

archetypical Intensities—desire, fear, shame, jealousy, anger. In other words, it is a hair-raising journey through the usually hidden end of the spectrum. “– The Infinite Body

“Much of Chipaumire’s power stems from her intensity and integrity as a performer. She’s a riveting figure, a theatrical warrior, with her dramatically expressive face and fleshy, muscular limbs, stomping and prowling and transforming the stage into a freighted, separate universe that seemed to vibrate with feeling. ‘She has so many bodies in one body,’ mused one watcher.” –The Miami Herald 

The New Yorker: .Goings on about town. DANCE: Nora chipaumire. "Miriam". {here}

Boston Globe: In 'Miriam", Nora chipaumire considers Africa and women. {here}


last heifer |  2011


Past Performances

last heifer - 2011 - dansapce - st marks church NYC 


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