Tag Archives: Ligia Lewis


The Los Angeles engagement of WATER WILL (IN MELODY)—part three of the acclaimed trilogy by Ligia Lewis, created with performers Susanne Sachsse, Dani Brown, and Titilayo Adebayo—is at Redcat this week for three evening shows and a Sunday matinee.

“In WATER WILL, light is more hypnotic, fantastical. The unsettling qualities emerge out of different choreographic proposals that always include sound and light. I like when something familiar suddenly touches upon the uncanny, or a series of activities or movements is interrupted, or sonic and visual shiftiness disrupts the flow of things and creates a hiccup in perception. 

“I indulge in nonlinear thinking and allow myself to riff or go in multiple directions in a piece. This lends itself to going sideways versus straight forward. I’m an intense reader of my own work, but not in an analytical sense. It’s an intuitive process.” — Ligia Lewis


Thursday through Saturday, September 12, 13, and 14, at 8:30 pm.

Sunday, September 15, at 3 pm.


631 West 2nd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

Ligia Lewis, Water Will (in Melody), photographs by Moritz Freudenberg, Julien Barbès, and Maria Baranova. Images courtesy and © Ligia Lewis, the performers, and the photographers.


In MINOR MATTER—part two of her Blue, Red, and White trilogy that began with Sorrow Swag—dancer-choreographer Ligia Lewis and her dancers Jonathan Gonzalez and Tiran Willemse interrogate the color red as a medium between love and rage. 

“[With this piece] I knew that I was working specifically with a very strong relationship to space, so I wanted to animate the periphery as much as possible. I knew that I was trying to interrogate a certain type of body and a certain type of embodiment. I was also trying to play with duration, or at least with creating a relationship to time that had an articulation of memory, and the present, and a sort of posturing towards the future… happening simultaneously…

“I have a very contentious relationship with abstraction, at least in early notions of abstraction being ‘pure’ or unadulterated form, so I go in knowing that I’m not entirely going to get that, or maybe not entirely interested in it, but it’s an interesting place to start for me…

“I was thinking about marks and traces in space, which is me thinking through what it means to be a marked body on stage. How do you leave a mark or a trace?” — Ligia Lewis interview with Emily Gastineau

Returning to L.A. after a preview at Human Resources—see Evan Moffitt’s review—MINOR MATTER is presented as part of this month’s Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA.



Friday and Saturday, January 12 and 13, at 8 pm.

Sunday, January 14, at 6 pm.

Redcat, 631 West 2nd Street, downtown Los Angeles.

See Hannah Black on Lewis.

See Martha Kirszenbaum, interview with Ligia Lewis, Kaleidoscope 29 (Spring 2017).

Above: Kaleidoscope 29 (Spring 2017), Ligia Lewis cover.

Below: Ligia Lewisminor matter. Photographs by Martha Glenn.


Last night, Berlin-based performance artist Ligia Lewis presented her latest work, Minor Matter, at Human Resources L.A. Inspired by two jam-packed discussions at HRLA called “Decolonizing the White Box”, which addressed racism and exclusion in the art world, Lewis spent two weeks choreographing the piece and scoring it, with help from her brother George Lewis Jr. (also known as the popular alt-rocker Twin Shadow).


The piece began (and ended) with a single performer, Kenneth Nicholson, lying on his back in the corner reciting observations about the vast white space–light fixtures, wall sockets, cracks and smudges in the plaster. Suddenly the lights switched to red, and the piece’s title was repeatedly invoked: “minor” for the minority, “major” for the majority.

Nicholson traced lines on the cement floor along with his recitations, creating clear demarcations between the “majority” and the “other.” His script was a hodgepodge of humor, dark poetic observations, and historic ephemera like mourning songs and slave commands. Nicholson’s movements became more frenetic, as he patted his legs (as a police officer would check for weapons) and slamming himself against the wall, arms raised (in the position of being frisked).


At a poignant climax, Nicholson asked the crowd, standing at a microphone and backlit by the red and blue of police lights, “How did we get from this–” clenching his fist in the symbol of Black Power– “to this–” raising his hands in the “don’t shoot!” position of Ferguson activists.

It was then that the “matter” gathered new meaning: Lewis’s performance emphasized a mischaracterization of the #BlackLivesMatter campaign, when it suggests what should only be obvious. All lives matter; but that is of minor matter to the policeman holding a smoking gun.