Ligia Lewis: minor matter
9 Jul 2017

Julidans and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam jointly present minor matter, a three-person dance by choreographer Ligia Lewis

Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum
4 - 5 pm
Museumcard € 3 / students 10,50 / regular € 18

 Last tickets.

The second in a trilogy of choreographed works, minor matter draws upon visual and conceptual metaphors relating to blackness. Continuing Lewis’s ongoing engagement with embodiment while interrogating the social inscriptions of the body, minor matter poses questions about the black body within the frame of the black box. The performance combines both historical and iconic representations of popular forms of dance, and by its end, the piece arrives at a bareness of flesh—both of the theater and its performers. Built on the logic of interdependence, the theater’s parts—light, sound, and image—become entangled with the three dancers, giving life to a vibrant social and poetic space. It is within this “blackened” world that Lewis’s choreography comes to life.

Death is an operative theme in minor matter: Like an allegory, the work unfolds multi-directionally while still maintaining its central theme—that as the world collapses, what is left is that we have each other. Lewis’s work plays with cultural signifiers related to death, such as the dancers’ blackened eyes and blood-stained shorts; choreographically the vogue death drop, death metal choreography such as headbanging and two-step. For minor matter, Lewis sources movements from both dance history and popular culture, with references including Maurice Bejart’s Bolero, transformed into a step routine, sourced from black American popular culture. Her work also makes use of other unlikely associations such as baroque music coupled with a wrestling match, as well as monologues that quote Kanye West and Bartleby, the Scrivener in the same breath. 

In minor matter Lewis plays with the signification of time through a sound score that travels across musical epochs and genres. While Sorrow Swag, the first piece in Lewis’s trilogy that premiered in 2015 and toured internationally , uses the color blue, in minor matter, Lewis turns to the color red to materialize thoughts between love and rage. minor matter premiered in 2016 at Hebbel am Ufer and Abrons Arts Center’s American Realness Festival, and is scheduled to appear in 20 venues throughout the world.


Ligia Lewis is a choreographer and dancer based in Berlin. Coming from a dance background, Lewis’s work is interdisciplinary and process-oriented, and informed by contemporary performance practices. Other works include: Melancholy: A White Mellow Drama$$$, and Sensation 1