Past Event

May 17—21, 2023


nora chipaumire / USA & Zimbabwe

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“A defiant and joyous collective cry of ‘I am.'”

— Don Aucoin, The Boston Globe

A pulsing, magnetic, musical exploration of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

After wowing audiences at the ICA, boundary-pushing Zimbabwean-born artist nora chipaumire makes her ArtsEmerson debut with Nehanda, a genre-bending concert experience like no other.

Nehanda explores the legend of Nehanda, a powerful spirit venerated by the Shona people—native of Zimbabwe and central Mozambique—who inhabits only women. chipaumire once succinctly described Nehanda as “a Zimbabwean Joan of Arc.” Using actual historical details from the 1896 case (“Regina v NIANDA”) to inform the piece, this electric new work lights up all of the senses and inspires conversation, reflection, and action. With the heightened energy of a political rally and the immense power of a ritual, Nehanda weaves together a powerful portrait of anti-colonial resistance that cannot be missed.

“Seeing nora’s work at the ICA, I learned that my favorite way to experience it is to be completely immersed in it. She and her collaborators create holistic  environments that transport you deep in the story. As the dancers moved around me, I could feel the music in my body and began to understand the world of the performance beyond a literal understanding of the words being spoken or sung. Nehanda operates on so many levels and I truly believe that the best way to experience all of them is to be surrounded by the performance on stage.”

-ArtsEmerson Creative Producer, Kevin Becerra



Emerson Paramount Center
Robert J. Orchard Stage
559 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111


May 17, 2023 - May 21, 2023

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Groups of 10+

Orders of 10 or more tickets for any performance are available now.

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2 hours

Tickets from $25

Ages 12+

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Content Warning

Nehanda depicts a moment of violence with a noose.

Sensory Warning

This show has a moment of a bright light pointed at audience members

Please Note

Masks are Strongly Encouraged.

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NOTE: A limited number of on-stage spots are now on sale for all performances of Nehanda. These limited spots are only $20 and fully accessible to all! To book, click the Get Tickets link for the performance of your choice below and follow the link in the pop-up that appears.