Scandals are events where fantasy and pleasure take centre stage, says Ligia Lewis. Around the question of who this pleasure is for, and at what cost, Lewis tests different scenarios in which scandals flourish. She weaves together historical, anecdotal, political and mythical narratives around the history of colonial slavery, using her own great-grandmother as a guide for resistance.
Ligia Lewis on A Plot / A Scandal:
A plot exposed, a foul deed enacted invites scandal. In the spirit of revolution or romantic musings, scandals provoke an imagining of the impossible. Utopian or mundane, how might scandal reveal what lies unwittingly close to our fantasies? And how does it expose where society places its limits? If life is a scandal waiting to be plotted, how do we position ourselves within its matrix? Immoral and lacking propriety, scandals are incidents where fantasy and pleasure take centre stage.
Guided by the questions of whom this pleasure is for and at what expense, Lewis's new plot explores the stage where scandals abound.
Weaving together historical, anecdotal, political, and mythical narratives - ranging from an interest in the Enlightenment thinker John Locke, Maria Olofa (Wolofa) in the slave revolt of Santo Domingo in 1521, Cuban artist and revolutionary Jose Aponte, and Lewis's great grandmother, a figure Lewis turns to within her plot as a guide of resistance - the choreographer constructs the poetics of refusal at the edges of
representation. A dance between affect and embodiment, seeing and being seen, A Plot/A Scandal is a scene in the making where the excitement for that which does not fit might find its place.
The work unfolds through the following parts:
Plot 1 John Locke
Plot 2 Rebellion
Intermezzo: John Locke cleans up his mess
Plot 3: Story of Lolon / fuck up the plot
Outro: Repair ?
The performance is part of the festival My Wild Flag to be held on 7-9 September 2023.
Ligia Lewis works as a choreographer and dancer. In her work, sonic and visual metaphors meet the body, materialising the enigmatic, the poetic, and the dissonant. Lewis's work continues to evoke the nuances of embodiment. Her work was presented in multiple venues across Europe and the US. She was managed and produced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer Theater from 2017 until 2021 and was a tanzhaus nrw factory artist from 2017 until 2019. She is the recipient of the Tabori Award in the category of Distinction, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants Award, and a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production.
Opening party of the My Wild Flag festival with music by Rasuul in Elverket's foyer
Talk with Ligia Lewis, Karina Sarkissova and Pontus Pettersson in the Elverket foyer.
Concept, choreography, direction and text
Choreographic assistance, alternating performer
Corey Scott-Gilbert, Justin Kennedy
Lighting design and technology
Music composition and sound design
George Lewis Jr AKA Twin Shadow & Wynne Bennett
George Lewis Jr AKA Twin Shadow
Max Eilbacher, Neda Sana
Jachya Freeth, Şenol Şentürk
Production and administration
Production and distribution
HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) , Ruhrtriennale, Arsenic - Centre d'art scénique contemporain (Lausanne), Tanzquartier Wien, Kunstencentrum VIERNULVIER (Gent), Kaserne Basel, The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis MN)
With the residency support of
Callie's, O Espaço do Tempo. Supported by: the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ Coproduction Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe