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Rebekah Sarbone
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Nora Chipaumire's "Chimurenga (struggle, cry, revolution)"

by Rebekah Sarbone
May 3, 2008
New York, NY
As soft light began to illuminate the strength of Nora Chipaumire's saunter into the space, power and prowess were evident. The stage filled with earth served only to manifest the actuality of anguish intended by the artist. Beginning with a small almost gestural phrase, audience was given immediate insight into the vulnerability to come. This slow ascent towards more grandiose phrasework, allowed for a story told through narrative movement.

Jumps and falls were echoed by controlled movements and prose. Chipaumire, in charge completely of her physical self, so as ready to react at any moment. If she had stood still for the entirety of this piece, her energy would have been captivation enough. The recurring motif of bare chest alluded to her suffering, both physically in childhood, and in memory as an adult. This relationship to womanly grace was daring in its ability to be masked by forced strength and circumstance. Sweet words and allusions to lighthearted childhood memories stung tears of bitterness as perhaps only a façade to the tortures witnessed.

As the story unfolded, viewer began to be lead through a web of movement, creating a retrospect of Chipaumire's life, retold through the eyes of a matured fighter. Her strength became her grace, and a shared deeply personal relationship surmised with one final question, "How goes it?"
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