Nora Chipaumire inaugurates MDC's Live Arts Lab

arts / Article

Longevity in the arts, like any field, requires constant learning. Performance labs provide this space. It's where artists can experiment, research and refine their skills. In these labs, sometimes new ideas emerge and old ideas are fleshed out. It's where artists—dancers, choreographers, directors, composers—innovate and hone their craft. MDC Live Arts, with the support of the Knight Foundation, is launching the new Live Arts Lab, a professional artist lab established to enable mid-career and advanced artists to extend and enrich their artistry.

Nora Chipaumire.

“Just like any trade, performers need to be engaged in ongoing training and practice to keep their skills sharp and to understand the possibilities for their work as they evolve as choreographers, directors, composers and performers of all types,” said MDC Live Arts Director Kathryn Garcia. “This kind of training enables local artists to continue their education at MDC without having to enroll in a degree program.”

A lab in itself isn't enough to transform a community. What's needed is a dynamic cadre of working artists in the field to lead these labs, like acclaimed dancer Nora Chipaumire. Chipaumire will lead the first inaugural lab, which runs from June 3 - 25 at MDC's New World School of the Arts.

“This research laboratory will help participants access their bodies’ original language and vocabulary, which will allow for the creation of singular, relevant choreographies,” Chipaumire said. “Through the body, through making with the body and performing with the body, we can discover new modes of knowledge and understanding that are at once theoretical, experimental, critical and practical.”

Sometimes we need to lose our vocabulary to find our real voice, our real movements, the good stuff we were born with and have either forgotten or lost touch with through the passage of time. Live Arts Lab, under the guidance of Chipaumire, will engage and challenge local participating artists to consider how time has marked their bodies.

The fee to participate in this Lab is $350 and scholarships are available. The Lab will culminate on June 25th with an informal showing where participants will share their research. Chipaumire will also share excerpts of her new work-in-progress, rite riot. To register or more information about the MDC Live Arts Lab, please call 305-237-7733, or visit

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