Zimbabwe born, New York-based Nora Chipaumire has established herself as an artist deeply engaged with questions around black, African identity (see her TEDx talk and short film Afro Promo #1 Kinglady); her newest dance theater work, “portrait of myself as my father,” which comes to the Dance Center of Columbia College October 20-22, hones in on black African masculinity, in particular on the masculinity of her father. Chipaumire transforms the stage into a makeshift boxing ring in which she, along with Shamar Watt and Senegalese dancer Pape Ibrahima N’diaye, who goes by the name Kaolack, question, embrace and explode stereotypes about the black male body. In a previous interview, Chipaumire said she is trying to create a fictional version of her father as a mythical master of traditionally “masculine” pursuits, sports and politics (though the difference between the two are questionable): the toughest boxer, the fastest runner, the greatest leader. Always evocative, challenging, funny, visceral, Chipaumire’s work is not to be missed. (Sharon Hoyer)
Nora Chipaumire at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 South Michigan, (312)369-8330. Thursday-Saturday, October 20-22 at 7:30pm. $30.