Conceived and choreographed by Nora Chipaumire. Performed by Souleymane Badolo and Nora Chipaumire. Music performed live by Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited. Lighting by Olivier Clausse dit Maurice. Video Design by Romain Tardy; Early Design by Joelle Dietrick. Technical Direction by Robert W. Henderson, Jr. Costume Design by Naoko Nagata.
Artist’s Statement from company nora chipaumire (an africanallstarscollective!)
I wanted to make a work that tackled the African brands: Africa as violent/ Africa as disease and dying/ Africa as famine and hunger/ Africa as exotic/ happy/ Africa the silent/ ancient/ darkness. I felt the shame and sadness of my fellow Zimbabweans, uprooted and on the run. I wanted to hold us all accountable. To this end, I invited a visual designer, a lighting designer, a costume designer, the world famous Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited, and fellow dancer Souleymane Badolo to journey with me, and own “the horror” of it all.
lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi is funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation.
Additional generous support has been provided by Creative Capital, The Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund and The National Endowment for the Arts. Lions… is co-commissioned and presented by 651 ARTS’ Black Dance: Tradition and Transformation program, primarily funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and co-commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop’s Commissioning and Creative Residency Program with support from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Jerome Robbins Foundation.
The development of lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi was made possible through a Choreographic Fellowship at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, and creative residencies at ASU Presents, Tempe, Arizona; Dance Theater Workshop, New York City; Ecole des Sables, Senegal; The Yard, Wendy Taucher, Artistic Director; and at the Museum for Contemporary Art, Chicago.