Awakened to Space


dance studies
performance studies

How to Cite

Emadian, E. (2020). Awakened to Space: Containers, Frames, and Blackness in Ligia Lewis’s ​minor matter. PARtake: The Journal of Performance As Research, 3(1).


Ligia Lewis’s minor matter uniquely employs the multiple meanings of (B)blackness as a central tool to its creation and viewing. Staged in a black box andperformed by Black artists, the work refracts established methodologies of dance to upend expectations of performance. Using Edwin Abbott’s Flatland: a Romance in Many Dimensionsas a key to unlocking the potential for operating within existing frames to extrapolate into new worlds, this article unearths the particular spatial approaches to choreography that Lewis employs. Through her treatment of space, sound, and light, Lewis churns up a whirlwind of choreographic information, tied together by Blackness and blackness, to arrive at a new understanding of limits, physical and social. By centralizing these (B)blacknesses in the work, Lewis emblemizes that the minor matter does matter, and through her nuanced construction of space in and around the physical dance, she explores why and how.