Family as a Battlefield Nora Chipaumire at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Nora Chipaumire, in a never-ending Round One

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IT’S September. The summer may be on its way out, but things are really just revving up in nora chipaumire’s fantasy boxing ring.
Decked out in all manner of protective gear—from imposing shoulder pads borrowed from American football paraphernalia to African medicine belts snaking their way around her waist—she is ready to duke it out with the superhero avatar of her absentee father, conjured up from scarce evidence: elusive childhood recollections, an old identity card, and hearsay.
Zimbabwe-born, Brooklyn-based chipaumire defies easy categorisation as much as her paternal doppelgänger refuses to be contained in the ring that has been designed for him. A multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary creator, she is a writer, a thinker, a dancer, an actor, a choreographer, an auteur (amongst other things.)
With a keen eye for visuals and a fine musical sensibility, she imbues her work with compelling layers of imagery, sound, movement, and meaning. I like to think of her as a Michelin-star-bedecked chef—when you sit at her table, you just have to trust and surrender: you may never know what she will cook up this time. It will be a challenging dish most likely, but a rich one definitely, and the one that is sure to leave you thinking and talking for a long time to come.
Aware of the elusive nature of her art form, chipaumire is concerned with the longevity of her work: “I hope it’s an experience that leaves an indelible mark on people’s retinas, people’s brains, people’s bodies,” she said as we discussed her production at BAM