Artists & Projects Directory
Zimbabwe-born Brooklyn-based Dancer-choreographer nora chipaumire continues her investigations on the black body, on Africa, and on the self.
portrait of myself as my father takes place in a simulated boxing ring in which chipaumire and Senegalese dancer Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye, also known as Kaolack (a former performer with Compagnie Jant-Bi), are tied together in an exhausting and symbolic dance-ritual. They are joined by Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-based dancer Shamar Watt, who plays the coach/corner man/cheerleader/shadow.
In this performance, the spectres of the estranged father dance, struggle, and fight against prejudices, social pressures, the weight of traditions and history. The piece considers the African male through the lens of capitalism, Christianity, colonialism and liberation struggles—and how these political and cultural traditions impact the African family and society on a global scale. The imaginary daughter and father are tethered to the stage and to each other: they are both linked and opposed, and the elastic bands are a literal and figurative connection that questions family ties.
The show also celebrates and critiques masculinity: its presence, presentation, and representation. This timely examination of black maleness asks: What is it about the black male body that we fear?
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 60 minutes
NOTE: The production is adaptable to proscenium stages, black box theatres and even non-traditional spaces. While its ideal audience configuration is in-the-round to allow for a more intimate, unmediated experience of the performance, the design is flexible, where the audience may be seated on one to four sides.