Nora Chipaumire has been challenging and embracing stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body, art, and aesthetic. Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe, and based in New York City, she is a graduate of the University of Zimbabwe’s School of Law and holds an MA in Dance and MFA in Choreography and Performance from Mills College. She has studied dance in Africa, Cuba, Jamaica, and the United States and has performed internationally in France, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Zimbabwe, and many other places.
Her newest work, portrait of myself as my father (2016), is a National Performance Network Creation Fund project, co-commissioned by Miami Dade College, in partnership with Miami Light Project, 651 Arts, Columbia College, and Georgia Institute of Technology. It is the companion piece to rite riot (2013), a 75-minute solo rendering of The Rite of Spring, commissioned by French Institute Alliance Française and presented at Crossing the Line Festival in New York City and Les Subsistances in France.
Chipaumire most recently received a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant recipient and a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award. She was a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University in 2014–15, a 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts recipient, and a 2011 United States Artist Ford Fellow. Chipaumire is a three-time New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Awardee: in 2014 for the revival of her solo Dark Swan set as an ensemble piece on Urban Bush Women (UBW), in 2008 for her dance-theater work Chimurenga, and in 2007 for her body of work with UBW, where she was a featured performer for six years and associate artistic director (2007–08). She was a MANCC Choreographic Fellow in 2007–08 and has been awarded the 2007 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award from Wesleyan University Center for the Arts.
Her work has been reviewed by the New York Times, Le Monde, and Johannesburg Sunday Times and supported by the MAP Fund, the Jerome Foundation, New York Foundations for the Arts B.U.I.L.D., National Dance Project, New York State Council on the Arts, The Joyce Theater Foundation with support from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Cultural Innovation Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Chipaumire has also been featured in several dance films including Cassa Cassa (dir. Elodie Lefebvre, 2011) and the semi-biographical nora (dir. Alla Kogan and David Hinton, 2009). Afro Promo #1 Kinglady her directorial debut with Dance for Film on Location at Montclair State University, with funding from the Mellon Foundation.