Dance/Theater Artist Nora Chipaumire Brings Team to MASS MoCA to Work on Preview “Miriam” [Berkshire on Stage]

Nora Chipaumire shows her new work on August 25, at Mass MoCA.
Nora Chipaumire shows her new work on August 25, at Mass MoCA.

Mass MoCA has announced that on Saturday, August 25, 2012, after a two week-long residency, renowned choreographer and dancer Nora Chipaumire works with an all-star team including acclaimed composer and pianist Omar Sosa, Long Wharf Theater associate artistic director Eric Ting, lighting designer Olivier Clausse, and dancer Okwui Okpokwasili to present a preview of Chipaumire’s newest work, Miriam. This deeply personal dance-theater performance 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 New York Times calls Chipaumire “an artist of ferocious intensity” and Dance Magazine says “Chipaumire has become a rock star of downtown dance, with a majestic quality that blows everything else out of the water.”

Ed. Note: While not quite finished works, these work in progress “showings” are always interesting to see. Some people are reluctant to spend an evening at one of these works-in-progress and worry that they will only get to see a part of the creative enterprise, not the finished work. For me, some of these experiences have been spellbinding, but I concede that there is a roll of the dice element about them too. A good way to approach previews is to try to find a video of earlier iterations of the project. After years of watching the process, I am beginning to sense that some artists never intend to finish their works. A few have become very adept at workshopping their way around the country for months and years. Just look at all the credits at the end of these sorts of announcements to see how it works. That’s why a video will at least give you a sampling of how you will spend your time. If you like the previous work, you are likely to enjoy the latest wrinkle in it, too. L.M.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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