“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
Groups of 10+
Orders of 10 or more tickets for any performance are available now.Reserve Group Tickets
Tickets from $25
View Health Information
Nehanda depicts a moment of violence with a noose.
This show has a moment of a bright light pointed at audience members
Masks are Strongly Encouraged.
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.
“There’s a beauty and power to the sounds and movements of Nehanda… It amounts to a defiant and joyous collective cry of ‘I am.’ chipaumire is an uncompromising artist who is not afraid to challenge her audience.”
— Don Aucoin, The Boston Globe
“Thunders ferociously…it’s easy to get caught up in the expansive soundscape the artists create.”
— Jacquinn Sinclair, WBUR
“Nehanda was amazing! Vocals, instrumentation, everything was brilliant.”
“Nehanda was never less than thrilling.”
— NJ Arts
“Ms. Chipaumire is an artist of ferocious intensity.”
— The New York Times
“Chipaumire has become a rock star of downtown dance, with a majestic quality that blows everything else out of the water.”
— Dance Magazine
“Defiantly charismatic, the Zimbabwean-born choreographer Nora Chipaumire has long been a kind of rock star of dance.“
— The New Yorker