REVIEW (for Pulp): Nora Chipaumire’s ‘Portrait of Myself as My Father,’ presented by UMS

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Nora Chipaumire in “Portrait of Myself as My Father.” (Photo by Elise Fitte-Duval)

There’s a reason that Nora Chipaumire’s “Portrait of Myself as My Father” earned a spot in University Musical Society’s Renegade series, which highlights cutting edge artists (and works) that take risks.

“Portrait,” an avant-garde dance work conceived, costumed, lit, choreographed, directed and performed (along with Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye, also known as Kaolack, and Shamar Watt) by Chipaumire, is now being presented at Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym.

And once audience members enter the performance space – a boxing ring, bordered by red, white, and blue ropes, and surrounded by bleachers on four sides – they immediately confront bright halogen lights, a loud, electronic soundscape, and Chipaumire herself, talking into a boxing microphone that dangles from the building’s rafters.

If you think this doesn’t give you the chance to feel comfortable and settled, you’re right. You won’t. And your heightened alertness will likely be sustained throughout the hour-plus show. READ THE REST HERE

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