Perhaps the best way to determine whether to see Nora Chipaumire’s dance performance “lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi,” on Thursday at Northrop is to take in the 36-minute film “Nora” tonight at the St. Anthony Main Theaters (it’s part of the Minneapolis Film Festival).
In their film, directors Alla Kovgan and David Hinton have crafted a vivid portrait of the Zimbabwe-born dancer, who conveys the stories of her people through a singular style of African-influenced choreography. Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe, during the Chipurenga Chechipiri (second war of liberation), Chipaumire is a self-exiled artist now based in New York City, who has earned a coveted Bessie Award for her unflinching investigations of culture, politics and technology in contemporary African culture.
For the Northrop performance, she’s collaborated with dancer Souleymane Badolo and master musician and poet Thomas Mapfumo (with his band The Blacks Unlimited). Chipaumire eloquently describes the genesis of “lions will roar,” and the roles of her collaborators, in this video.
The hour-long performance incorporates live music, dance and projected video to convey an Africa that, in conversation with itself through these artists, at once celebrates, questions and delivers a country of constant conflict and creativity.
“Nora,” film, 6:55 p.m., St. Anthony Main Theaters, Minneapolis; Tickets $8-$10.
Nora Chipaumire in performance Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis. Tickets $20-$40. 612-624-2345.