Nora Chipaumire, Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited have traveled a long journey carrying a work with a long title, “lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi”— Chipaumire is a self-exiled dancer born in Zimbabwe during the second war of liberation, now calling New York home. She crafts contemporary dances that blend African styles to shed light on the human condition. Mapfumo, or the “Lion of Zimbabwe,” created Chimurenga-style music that mixes African rhythms and instruments with politically charged lyrics. His work landed him in a Zimbabwean prison camp in 1979. Inspired by Mapfumo’s writing and drawing on Chipaumire’s personal history, this movement piece aims to challenge the ideas of just what “African” means. These brave artists make work rich with human layers that need all the facilities of music, lyrics and dance to complete the expression. The result is worthy of immersion; accordingly, the MCA has scheduled a full lineup of activities with these creative minds in the “Artists Up Close” series. Visit their website for more information. (William Scott)
October 1, 3-4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, (312)397-4010.