EMPAC hosts Nora Chipaumire’s ‘Miriam’ dance-theater work

Thursday September 27, 2012

TROY, N.Y. -- The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will host a production of "Miriam," a dance-theater performance by renowned choreographer and dancer Nora Chipaumire, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6, at 8 p.m., in the center’s Studio 1-Goodman space.

In addition to maintaining an extensive performance tour schedule, Chipaumire has been an adjunct faculty member at Bennington College and other universities and colleges.

With "Miriam," Chipaumire creates her first character driven work. According to supplied material, it is "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 United States, and her self-discovery as an artist. Performed by 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 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 U.S.

She is 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 in California. She is also a two-time New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") awardee.

EMPAC is located at 110 8th St. Tickets are $18. Parking is available in the Rensselaer parking lot on College Avenue. For information and tickets call 518-276-3921 or visit empac.rpi.edu.


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