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Nora Chipaumire

Miriam seeks to capture the darkness associated with Africa and to undress baroque Western fears of the continent. Miriam does that and more.” –Willamette week

“The performances have left an indelible memory of something ethereal yet eternal”
-Roko Kawai, Manager of Contextual Programming, YBCA

With Miriam, choreographer and dancer Nora Chipaumire created her first character-driven work—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 sprang from the cultural and political milieu of Chipaumire’s southern African girlhood, her self-exile to the U.S., and her self-discovery as an artist.


Miriam was conceived, written and choreographed by Nora Chipaumire, and directed by Eric Ting with an original soundscore by composer and pianist Omar Sosa; lighting and visual environment by Olivier Clausse, costume design by Naoko Nagata, and sound design by Lucas Indelicato. Actor/dancer Okwui Okpokwasili joined in the performance.


MAPP International’s 2012 production and tour of Miriam toured to 14 U.S. cities throughout 2012-2013, including: Alverno College (Milwaukee, WI), Brooklyn Academy of Music (Brooklyn, NY), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park, MD), Diverseworks (Houston, TX), EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic (Troy, NY), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT), Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX), Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA), Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh, PA), MASS MOCA (North Adams, MA), Miami Light Project (Miami, FL), New Art New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM), Portland Institute of Contemporary Arts (Portland, OR), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA). Miriam was also presented in the Les Subsitances festival in Lyon, France in 2013.

The feeling of connecting to a performer is rare and exceptional when experienced, and Chipaumire and Okpokwasili formed an almost connected solitude for the audience. We all experienced something different in watching the performance, and yet they managed to connect us all to them, and to one another.” Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Blog

Miriam received generous support from The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The New England Foundation for the Arts' Production Residency for Dance Program, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The NPN Forth Fund, New Music USA's Live Music for Dance Program  Miriam was a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). Miriam was also co-commissioned by Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY; Les Subsistances, Lyon, France; and Clarice Smith Performing Art Center, College Park, MD. Miriam was created during a residency provided by The Joyce Theater Foundation, New York City, with major support from the Rockefeller Foundation's NYC Cultural Innovation Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Creative and production residencies were provided by the Experimental Music and Performing Arts Center (Troy, NY), Brooklyn Academy of Music (Brooklyn, NY), MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA), Centro per la Scena Contemporanea/CSC (Bassano del Grappa, Italy), and Les Subsistances (Lyon, France).