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Recording: 2015-01-18 , Tanztage Berlin 2015 | Sophiensæle (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Ligia Lewis


Tanztage Berlin 2015 | Sophiensæle

Production Details / Press Releases

SORROW SWAG was devised from the adaptations of two plays: Antigone as translated by Jean Anouilh and Not I by Samuel Beckett. These texts form the backbone of the piece, which was set in motion by combining the theatre techniques of method acting and authentic movement. Performed by Brian Getnick, the character of Antigone is reinterpreted and dismantled, producing an unstable figure that interrogates race, embodiment, representtation, gender, and grief, but not necessarily in that order. Getnick’s performance takes place in an immersive visual and auditory space that veers from spectacle to stark realism. Within this conceptual and practical framework, Ligia Lewis searches for the political potential of watching a body in a perpetual state of transformation, always refusing a definite character. Antigone, the princess who denies all that identity has placed upon her to forsake her life in order to be true, is the through-line, the anchor for the otherwise chaotic nature of the first half. In the second section, Getnick slips into the character of Billie Whitelaw, the first – literal – mouth-piece of Beckett’s final work Not I. In Sorrow Swag, she (through Getnick) she describes this position to her audience, making visible this act of interpretation and embodiment. While the character of Antigone fluctuates between states of conviction, empathy, and suffering, the Whitelaw character presents a direct line to the ideas behind this work: experientially and theoretically derived thoughts on the relationships between race, gender, authorship, and the body.

Making use of theater, dance and text LIGIA LEWIS makes performances engaging pop culture, affect, and empathy. To this end she crafts works interrogating race, embodiment, representation, gender, and grief. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the US, Lewis lives and works in Berlin. She received her B.F.A from Virginia Commonwealth University. As a performer Lewis has worked extensively across Europe and abroad in theater, dance and film productions with Les Ballets C de la B, in films by Uli Edel and Wu Tsang, and with artists Jeremy Wade, Kat Valastur, Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Tracy Rose and more. She is currently touring in the production Monument 0 by Eszter Salamon. Her work Sensation 1 was featured in Basel Liste’s 2014 program. $$ was co-produced by HAU Berlin, Sorrow Swag was recently presented at Human Resources Los Angeles.

BRIAN GETNICK received a BA in art from Vassar College in 1998 and his MFA in Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. In 2008 he was nominated for the fourth annual performance prize through the Galleria Civica in Trento Italy. Getnick’s performances have been seen at Station Independent Projects in New York City, at Honor Fraser Gallery, Red Cat, and Machine Projects in Los Angeles and at Croxhapox in Gent. He currently co directs Native Strategies, a journal and performance art platform with Tanya Rubbak, and is the director of PAM, a theater space and artist residency in Highland Park.

GEORGE LEWIS JR., also known by his stage name Twin Shadow, is an American singer. He recently signed to Warner Bro. Records which will release his subsequent album To the Top. His first two albums, Forget and Confess, were met with positive reviews.

Cast & Credits

PERFORMANCE: Brian Getnick
SOUND: George Lewis Jr. (Twin Shadow)

Technical Management: Walter Freitag, Fabian Lehmann, Eugen Böhmer
The 24th Tanztage Berlin are a production by SOPHIENSÆLE.
Funded by the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senatskanzlei Cultural Affairs.
Supported by Goethe-Institut, Polnisches Institut Berlin, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Halle Tanzbühne, Mapping Dance.


Sophienstraße 18
10178 Berlin

Tickets: (030) 283 52 66

Video Documentation

The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):

University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)

Ligia Lewis / Trailers and Video Documentations

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