How does it impact on space when people dance in it? How does the body behave in space, how does it move? How does it affect it when others dance?
Considered celebratory gatherings of things, people, plants, dances and scents, Occasions – a format created by Isabel Lewis in 2013 – takes place in a decorated environment where visitors can drift in and out of attention and sociality. A choreographed space that defines the movements in it and influences the people enclosed in it by bringing the installation to life with their own movements. Lewis unfolds a specific dramaturgy attuned to her guests and their energies shaping a live experience using choreography, music, spoken address, and storytelling in ways that allow for conversation, contemplation, dancing, listening, or just simply being. Easing the formalities of distanced observation typically found within the theater and exhibition contexts, Lewis is interested in aesthetic situations that move beyond the merely visual where the entire human sensorium is addressed. Within the Occasions, visitors encounter smells made in collaboration with Norwegian smell researcher Sissel Tolaas and are welcomed with amuse-bouches created by a local chef. Occasions take place in the foyer of Stoa, and it is created in participation with Helsinki-based dancers.
Isabel Lewis is a Berlin-based artist born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1981 and raised on a man-made island off the coast of southwest Florida. Before relocating to Berlin in 2009 she lived in New York City for several years where she danced for many choreographers, showed her own commissioned works at The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, New Museum Movement Research at Judson Church, Dancespace Project at St. Mark’s Church, PS 122 and Dia Foundation. Trained in literary criticism, dance, and philosophy, her work takes on many different formats from lecture performances to workshops, music sessions, parties, hosted occasions, and large scale artistic/programmatic works. Her work has been presented at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Kunsthalle Basel, Frieze London, Liverpool Biennial, the Institute of Contemporary Arts London (ICA), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Turin, Tanz im August Berlin, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Palais de Tokyo, Tate Modern London, and Ming Contemporary Art Museum Shanghai. Lewis has created works around such topics as open-source technology and dance improvisation, social dances as cultural storage systems, collaborative creative formats, and rapping as an embodied speech act.
Conceived, directed and performed by: Isabel Lewis
Music: Isabel Lewis
Photo: Neven Allgeier
Visit in collaboration: Cultural Center Stoa
Visit supported by: Goethe-Institut Finnland, NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ International Guest Performance Fund for Dance and TelepART Mobility Support Platform & Finnland-Institut in Deutschland