It began with finding similarities among two countries, Zimbabwe and Okinawa.
The prayer toward god and worship toward nature and their ancestors was part of their daily life.
The Artist in Residence Project will start in Okinawa, involving the past and the present.
Nora Chipaumire is the invited artist for this project, a returning artist from last year. Nora, originally born in Zimbabwe, is a world-renowned dancer and choreographer currently based in New York City.
She represents various aspects of the African culture—beauty, history, discrimination, race, and women—through her eyes and body, along with her African pride. What is a black person’s body? What is expression? What is human growth? She has been asking these questions to herself throughout the process of her choreography.
Five years ago, I was intrigued by Okinawa after watching Naoto Iina’s “Neppu”. Last summer, it was first time for Nora and Shinbow, an Okinawan musician, performed together at “Neppu” as new form from how it was in Kyoto. Shinbow’s voice and sanshin reminded Nora about her traditional performing art in her country.
There are similarities between the two countries; Zimbabwe and Okinawa. Both countries have had the experience of being colonized. Both countries are also very rich in culture, through worshipping nature, its rituals, and traditional performing art
In May 2015, I visited Miayako, Ie Island, and Bise. The prayer toward god and worship toward nature and their ancestors was part of their daily life. The present and the past existed at the same time. Everybody hoped that this beautiful moment would last forever.
How will it look like for Nora? The Okinawans’ natural features, its people, their lifestyles, and the local artists. What will she look for by meeting with them? This is the beginning of the Artist in Residence program in Okinawa.
Project Director: Ritsuko Mizuno