On May 6, 2017, at 9 PM, Converso presents minor matter, the latest choreography of Dominican-American choreographer and dancer Ligia Lewis.
“I want to turn you inside out and step into your skin,” utters Ligia Lewis at the beginning of minor matter. This utterance, suggestive of what is to be expected, as Lewis and her dancers Jonathan Gonzalez and Tiran Willemse engage in a complex entanglement with the “black box” and their black bodies. In minor matter, Lewis weaves two discursive apparatuses—blackness and the spectacle—and questions if both these devices can escape a politics of representation. Interested in a poetics of dissonance, minor matter wrestles with these very questions but attempts no resolution.
Throughout the choreography the performers push their bodies against the boundaries of the stage as if tearing them down; or they mimic the stage’s orthogonality, as if achieving its robustness and strength. At one point, the dancers merge into a pulsating mass that exposes the stage as a dead cavity. Simultaneously they illustrate a humble relation between the body and the space that encapsulates it. The performers get exhausted as their laboring bodies strip the stage of its formal mystique to approach its matter—black. At the end of the choreography Lewis calls “black, black”, a vocal cue to cut the lights and for the room to go black, as well as a reminder of the underlying thread holding the work together: blackness.
minor matter inscribes Converso in a triangulation of architecture, human body and mise- en-scène. Lewis and her performers storm the space of the church, and the institutions that embody it. And the church responds, offering up its magniloquence.
Ligia Lewis (b. 1983, Dominican Republic) is a choreographer and dancer who lives in Berlin and Los Angeles. Her choreographies include: Sensation 1, $$$, Sorrow Swang and Melancholy: A White Mellow Drama. minor matter is the second part of a trilogy entitled (BLUE RED WHITE). As a dancer Lewis has collaborated with choreographers, dance ensembles and performers including Eszter Salamon, Mette Ingvartsen, Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Wu Tsang, Les Ballets C de la B among others.
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