edition March/April 2020

Porous Intellectual Spaces

An exhibition of Ligia Lewis’ work at HAU

Werkschau im HAU, Ligia Lewis © Dorothea Tuch Werkschau im HAU, Ligia Lewis © Dorothea Tuch

Christine Matschke
Dance Journalist

Which canon of theatre and dance do we trust? And to which social norms and values do we connect it? Choreographer Ligia Lewis searches for aesthetic possibilities of maintaining a black position within a white dominated canon. “Water Will (in Melody)” (2018), for example, which is dense with Western myths and cultural-historical references, makes well-established interpretive approaches seem rather hollow. Starting out from melodrama, the piece tangibly spins a dystopian fantasy and allows the audience to drift off into disorientation. In addition to Lewis’s most recent work, HAU is also presenting two further revivals by the artist: “Sorrow Swag” (2014) uses texts and images from 20th century classical theatre to question concepts of race, authorship, gender and mourning. And “minor matter” (2016) instigates a deadly puzzle game between “white” and “black” dance knowledge. Maurice Béjart’s ballet “Bolero” here culminates in an Afro-American step dance and the death drop of voguing meets the head-banging of death metal.

Ligia Lewis
Sorrow Swag / minor matter / Water Will (in Melody) / Sensation 1
April 15 – 18, 2020
HAU Hebbel am Ufer

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