Four figures on a stage

Ligia Lewis was born in 1983 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Lewis takes on different roles as a choreographer, director, dancer, and performer. In a similar vein, she stages her work in various spaces, including theaters, white cube galleries, and museums. This variability in presentation circles back to the experiential weight of her movement vocabulary, which vacillates between the familiar and the unfamiliar—an uncanny recipe that starts with the social inscriptions of the body and meanders outward with speech, affect, thought, relations, and utterances as a guide in navigating space. Lewis invites the logics of interdependence, disorder, and play, with the three operating as conceptual coagulants that dissolve the misreading that dance consists only of abstract bodies in motion. Bodily movement shows up in both mundane and indeterminate gestures, which cede space for the enigmatic, poetic, and dissonant realms of other sensualities to materialize. Although experiments with representation are central to Lewis’s projects, she avoids talking about identity politics and prefers the term minoritarian politics, as her pieces explore alternative modes of embodiment that avoid essentializing or exoticizing. Her recent performance trilogy comprises Water Will (in Melody) (2018), a gothic tale set in black and white; minor matter (2016), a poetic work dominated by red, for which she received the 2017 Bessie Award for outstanding production; and Sorrow Swag (2014), presented in a saturated blue. Her other works include Sensation 1 / This Interior (High Line, New York, 2019); so something happened, get over it; no, nothing happened, get with it (JaouTunis, Tunis, 2018); and Melancholy: A White Mellow Drama (Fahrenheit by FLAX, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2015). She has collaborated with the musical artist Twin Shadow, the visual artist Wu Tsang, and the DJ collective NON Worldwide.