September 16, 2012
Spirits pervade the dark, haunted space that resounds under the thundering platform shoes worn by Nora Chipaumire and Okwui Okopkwasili. Behind a short tower of lights by Olivier Clausse sits the musician Omar Sosa devising claps and guttural utterances, laughs, and slithering tones. Blocky movements strike out from the corners of blackness, touching the edge of a light projected on the floor of BAM’s intimate Fishman Space.
A persuasive performer, Nora deals in the sensations of tribal rituals and matriarchal societies. Men go to war and women feel the blows. In centuries old prescribed etiquette, women smile, despite suffering; women move forward despite the weight they balance on their heads and in their hearts.
All these images sift in and out of the mysterious pool of shadows and dreams created by Ziambadwe born Chipaumaire in her piece “Miram” (referencing the much loved South African activist and singer Miriam Makeba).
The imposing Chipaumire and Okopkwasili draw movements up through their backs, raising knees boldly to the chest while heavily drawing arms skyward. More a sound movement poem than a traditional dance, “Miriam” agitates and mystifies.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis