Ligia Lewis in conversation with Joshua Chambers-Letson
Volksbühne , Berlin, Germany 04 Jun 2019
Photo: Julien Barbès. Ligia Lewis Waterwill (In Melody)
ASSEMBLE continues its 2019 season of performance and discoursive events with choreographer, artist and dancer Ligia Lewis.
Lewis recently concluded a massive stage production in three parts: Sorrow Swag (2014), minor matter (2016) and Water Will (In Melody) (2018). Her performers jump between individual and group identities, or engage with outside forces such as light or water in ways that regulate or permeate their bodies. In conversation with performance studies and critical race theorist Joshua Chambers-Letson, she discusses the pieces’ conceptual backgrounds and rooting in urgent political discussions. Together, they examine the issues of racial inequalities, othering, embodiment and solidarity inherent to her work.
Ligia Lewis is a choreographer, performer and dancer whose work is shown in multiple contexts including the theater and museum. Engaging with affect, empathy, and the sensate, her choreography considers the social inscriptions of the body. Her latest piece, Water Will (in Melody) for four performers, incorporates texts as well as water and other materials the performers interact with. Her earlier minor matter (2016), for three dancers is infused with red light and presents a vibrant social space that materializes through the interplay of light, sound and physicality. Her work has been shown worldwide, including at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Performance Space New York, Human Resources Los Angeles, Do Disturb Festival at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and ImPulsTanz, Vienna.
Joshua Chambers-Letson is a writer and performance theorist working at the intersection of performance studies, critical race theory, political theory, and queer of color critique. An associate professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, he is the author of After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life (NYU Press, 2018) and A Race So Different: Law and Performance in Asian America (NYU Press, 2013). He is currently contemplating a project about object relations, reparation, and race, and with Tavia Nyong’o he is preparing José Esteban Muñoz’s The Sense of Brown for publication with Duke University Press.