With Miriam, renowned choreographer and dancer Nora Chipaumire creates her first character driven work—a deeply personal dance-theater performance that looks closely at the tensions women face between public expectations and private desires; between selflessness and ambition; and between the perfection and sacrifice of the feminine ideal.
The inspiration for Miriam springs from the cultural and political milieu of Chipaumire’s southern African girlhood, her self-exile to the US, and her self-discovery as an artist. Performed by Nora Chipaumire and Okwui Okpokwasili, Miriam renders the intensity of women who fight to create themselves despite the dual legacies of strict cultural traditions and imperialist racial views that define female beauty and power.
Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe, New York City-based Nora Chipaumire has been challenging stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body, art, and aesthetic for the past decade. She has studied dance in many parts of the world including Africa, Cuba, Jamaica, and the US. A graduate of the University of Zimbabwe's School of Law, she also holds an MA in dance and MFA in choreography and performance from Mills College (CA).
Chipaumire is an Alpert Award in the Arts recipient and US Artist Ford Fellow. She is also a two-time New York Dance and Performance (aka “Bessie”) awardee. Other awards include the AfroPop Real Life Award, the Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award, and a MANCC Choreographic Fellowship.
In addition to maintaining an extensive performance tour schedule, Chipaumire has been an adjunct faculty member at ASU Gammage, Bennington College, the University of Minnesota–Minneapolis, and Barnard College.
Created and Written by Nora Chipaumire
Directed by Eric Ting
Composed by Omar Sosa
Performed by Nora Chipaumire and Okwui Okpokwasili
Miriam is a production of MAPP International Productions.
This presentation and tour of Nora Chipaumire’s Miriam is made possible by a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Miriam has received generous support from The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Production Residency for Dance Program, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the NPN Forth Fund; and New Music USA’s Live Music for Dance Program.