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© Brad Schaffer hires


nora chipaumire

Radical choreographer nora chipaumire evokes the story of Nehanda in an opera with twenty dancers, musicians and singers. A call for resistance and reparations.


No justice, no peace

She bears her Africanness like a mantle. She rejects and deconstructs hierarchy, reconnecting with feminine power and spirituality. nora chipaumire is a major figure in international choreography who invites, welcomes, and disrupts.

In her most recent work, the rebellious Zimbabwean choreographer gathers twenty artists, musicians, singers, and dancers, in an epic production she has dubbed an opera, of approximately 5 h 30. Both a choreographed concert and a three-part ceremony, Nehanda denounces the trial by which Queen Victoria convicted Charwe Nyakasikana, a leader of the anti-colonialist movement in Rhodesia at the end of the nineteenth century. Chants and rhythm recount the tale of Nehanda, spiritual power of the Shona uprising. Together in the mythic space of revolt, audience and artists take part in history, resistance, and reparations.


Produced by nora chipaumire
Artistic Direction nora chipaumire
Performed by Sylvestre Akakpo Adzaku + Tatenda Chabarwa + nora chipaumire + Jonathan Kudakwashe Daniel + David Gagliardi + McIntosh « SoKo » Jerahuni + Fatima Katiji + Mamoudou Konate + Othnell « Mangoma » Moyo + Lucia Palmieri + Mohamed Yousry Fathy « Shika » Saleh + Kei Leon Soares-Cobb + tyroneisaacstuart + Peter van Heerden + Shamar Wayne Watt + Gilbert Zvamaida
Sound Engineer Vusumuzi Moyo
Sound Assistant Kwamina Biney
Technical and Production Management Heidi Eckwall + Serena Wong
Tour Manager Sylvestre Akakpo Adzaku
Executive Manager Peter van Heerden
Company Manager Astrid Rostaing
Associate Company Manager Mirna Matošić
Booking ArKtype ̶ Thomas O. Kriegsmann

Commissioned by Quick Center for the Arts – Fairfield University + Lower Manhattan Cultural Council as part of Extended Life Dance Development program + PEAK Performances at Montclair State University + Komische Oper Berlin

With the support of The Mellon Foundation + New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project + New York State Council on the Arts + National Endowment for the Arts

Residencies PACT Zollverein (Essen) + CSC Centro per la Scena Contemporanea (Bassano del Grappa)

Premiered at PEAK Performances, Montclair State University, September 16, 2022

Presented in association with Espace GO

Written by Laeticia Philantrope
Translated by Rebecca Rustin

The show is performed in the languages of all its participants : Shona, English, Ndebele, Ewe, Afrikaans, Kriolu… among others.


© Mieke Ulfig

nora chipaumire (Mutare + New York + Berlin)

nora chipaumire first studied law, then performance, dance and choreography in Africa, Jamaica, Cuba, and the United States. Her performances have been presented worldwide, including France, Italy, Japan, Senegal, and Zimbabwe.

Full biography