Isabel Lewis – danceWEB Scholarship Mentor 2024

Artistic Statement 

Having had a long history of collaboration with the ImPulsTanz Workshops I am particularly excited to take on this new role as the danceWEB mentor in 2024. The ImPulsTanz Workshop programme has always been a place that has invited and encouraged me to radically experiment with my practice and to share this process with others. In a time where the demand for and expectation of visibility is so high, we may often feel hesitant to allow ourselves to dive into unknown possibilities in front of one another. In honoring the space that has been extended to me over the years at ImPulsTanz, I would like to consider the summer programme as such a space of intention for giving oneself the permission to escape the habit (and requirement) of representing a coherent and continuous image of oneself or one’s work AND for the collective effort of hosting and holding a compassionate space for taking such risks. I want to attend to our differences with care and respect and not impose an idea of a shared common ground. I want to attend to time-based dramaturgies and compositions from the bodily perspectives of the experiential, the relational, and the situational that are not limited to a particular format or mode of presentation. I want to reflect together on aesthetics and find connections with contemporary discourses in art, fashion, music, architecture and beyond! I want to dance together! I want to take into consideration the situatedness of all forms of knowledge, creative processes, and artistic gestures and reflect upon the ways we mediate our relations within our “biosocial surround,” paying close attention to the intersections of artistic practice and ecological thinking/doing. I am very much looking forward to working with you and experiencing how you articulate your artistic wants and desires for this shared time.



Isabel Lewis (born in Santo Domingo, in 1981) is a Dominican-American artist active in the fields of theater, music, and dance and is particularly recognised for introducing the format of the “occasion” to the field of Contemporary Art with her presentations of An Occasion hosted by Isabel Lewis at the Biennial of Moving Images at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in 2013 followed by Frieze Art Fair London in 2014. Through persistent experimentation and embodied research methodologies, Lewis creates formats for alternative modes of sociality between human and more-than-human agents. For Lewis any given format suggests ways of ordering the sensible and so how to engage with the format is a deeply political question. “Occurrences”, “arrangements”, “activations” “expanded viewings”, “sensory parcours” as well as workshops, listening sessions and lecture performances are to be found in the history of the artist’s work. Trained in literary criticism and philosophy and with her artistic roots in dance, Lewis employs an expanded sense of the choreographic that centers its focus around generating affective bodily experiences that address all of the senses in her collaborative practice which includes architects such as Juan Chacón of Zuloark, scientists such as Sissel Tolaas, theorists such as classicist Brooke Holmes, and composers such as LABOUR among other practitioners.

Lewis has created works around such topics such as open-source technology and dance improvisation (Communal EPIC Fiction, 2010), dances as cultural storage systems (Mountain Grass, Mountain Hare: bodily imprinting and social dances, 2012), future bodily techniques (BALLISTIC BODY, 2011), rapping as an embodied speech act (FLOW PLAY: Sensualized Speech and HipHop, 2013), and the sociological concept of erotic sociability (Unambitious Stripper, 2017-ongoing). Lewis’s work has been presented by Dia Art Foundation, Tate Modern, Kunsthalle Basel, Liverpool Biennial, Serpentine Galleries, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Tanz Im August, Kampnagel, Gropius Bau, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Palais de Tokyo, Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Sharjah Biennial, Karachi Biennial Trust, and Kunsthalle Zürich among others. In 2021 she became Professor of Performative Arts at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buch Kunst, Leipzig (Fine Art Academy Leipzig).

Panel Discussion: Art as a way of survival

How important can the art be for our human being development? The question ”What meaning does the art have?” becomes a call to action, for an artist who lives in an area affected by crises, when every day can bring danger. Then, the artistic act it is not just a privileged choice, but an instrument of survival. Ephemeral nature of the body and the human capacity to facilitate or prevent the recovery of the interior conflict. A discussion about the artistic ways used to strengthen both individual and collective initiatives.

With Mihaela Michailov (dramaturg & critic, Romania), Vladimir Us (artist & curator, Moldavia), Enkidu Khaled (director & performer, Irak/ Belgium), artists in residence of „LifeBoat”: (H)anna Kyrychyshyn (Ukraine) and Rita Lira (Ukraine).

07.10.2023 @ Center of Projects, Timișoara
© Luc Schaltin
Showing: Working Method

An artistic production based on the results of the creation labs with local artists, based on ”Working Method”, a methodology developed by the director and performer Enkidu Khaled. The representation tackles current themes through a personal and cultural identity, under the quote ”theatre is an instrument of survival, not a privilege.”

07.10.2023 @ Center of Projects, Timișoara
© Myriam Van Imschoot
Performance: A Song For Everyone

You are invited to a unique journey around the world of sounds, where every element resonates to vibrational frequencies. What is our relation with breathing, wind and the sounds of matter? A performance based on the exploring of relations between people and the sounds of the environment. This performance is directed by Myriam Van Imschoot & newpolyphonies, in collaboration with participants & local artists.

07.10.2023 - 08.10.2023 @ Isho Pavilion

This performance explores how vulnerable is our capacity to connect with ourselves through two different methods: intervention (how we interact with ourselves and with others in an intimate way) and the witness ( how we share our experiences with others and how we inspire each other).

07.10.2023 - 08.10.2023 @ ISHO Pavilion
© Almud Krejza
Panel Discussion: Theatre as a public space

Can theatre projects propose a public space that facilitates both the radical imaginary and the pragmatic utopias? What kind of projects can inspire the political action and thinking to get over the artistic sphere, succeeding to extend the theatre sphere of action, to stimulate the ways and possibilities to find a way to engage in the social issues of the present time? This approach is meant to interrogate the structures - social, political and economic - that give a certain framework to the existence of each of us.

With Claudia Bosse (choreographer & director, Germany/Austria), Edit Kaldor (theatre maker & writer, Hungary/Netherlands), Florian Malzacher (plawright & curator, Germany), Arkadi Zaides (choreograph & performer, France), moderated by Simone Willeit (Uferstudios Berlin).

06.10.2023 @ FABER, Timișoara
Solo Lecture Performance: Precedents to a potential future

What is there that can not be seen? Which is the moment where we create meaning? How do text, sound, image and sensations complete each other to make us understand a phenomena as “experience”? And how do these contexts define the experience of dance? A mixture of expressions creates narrative to a performance that is – or not – present. A solo lecture-performance, continuously moving its center of perception, always switching its basis of representation. The performer describes memories, imagination, impressions, changes points of view in the story and tries to link her train of thoughts to the present moment.

06.10.2023 @ FABER, Timișoara
© Günther
Lecture Performance: LANDSCAPE/S

A lecture performance by Claudia Bosse with different media about (performative) thinking and choreographic practice with, in or as landscapes. An installative spread out with pasts and possible futures, along some works, body resonances as well as new explorations, with different dimensions of time, space and cohabitation.

06.10.2023 @ FABER, Timișoara
Workshop: Hip–Hop Contemporary Dance with Silke SILK Grabinger

Austrian B-Girl Silke Grabinger and her wingman G Dudas-Simo are giving a Hip-Hop Contemporary Dance Workshop. They will encourage you to explore your whole movement vocabulary in this highly physical lessons. The focus lies on technique, expression and musicality. For the intermediate level, previous experience in HipHop, Breakdance and/or contemporary dance is an advantage, while beginners will be introduced to all these styles. Participation is free!

06.10.2023 - 08.10.2023 @ Casa Tineretului
Panel Discussion: Forming (public) opinions

Access to information and education are the fundamental requirements for participating into social life. What kind of collective education and information spreading platforms are accessible and to what type of target public? What kind of steps towards building an alternative platform or transdisciplinary collaboration are there? Who are the ones considered right to take part in the greatest decisions or on the contrary, pushed away from the historical context? Last, but not least, it will be discussed the manipulation of social media, the right wing radicalization and anti-feminist in the online and the tactics of manipulation on these kind of social platforms, that can be the germinative action for radicalization.

With Radu Apostol (theatre and film director,light designer, founder of Replika Cultural Association, Romania), Viorel Cojanu (actor, founder & president of Replika Cultural Association, Romania), Rok Vevar (historian of dans & curator, Slovenia), Caspar Weimann (performer, professor & mentor, Germania), Stanislava Ovchinnikova (interdisciplinary artist and curator, Ukraine, Finland and Germany), moderated by Raluca Rădulescu.

05.10.2023 @ FABER, Timișoara
© Arnaud Caravielhe
Performance: Necropolis

Necropolis is a documentary and choreographic investigation that examines the concept of collective responsibility and focuses on commemorating the thousands of anonymous refugees who unfortunately failed to reach Europe safely. Since 1993, UNITED for Intercultural Action, a network of hundreds of anti-racist organizations from all over Europe, has been compiling a list of refugees and migrants who lost their lives on their way to the continent. As of June 2022, when the latest updated version was released, the list included information on 48,647 reported deaths. The total toll is certainly much higher, as many people are neither found nor registered. The show of Arkadi Zaides, together with the artistic team, documents this invisible landscape is stretching in all directions across space and time and brings back to life the life of those unidentified, anonymous bodies.

05.10.2023 @ FABER, Timișoara
© Almud Krejza
Exhibition: Multi Species. „Co-Creating our environment”

Man is not the measure of all things. This is the premise on which the artists' research is based. The exhibition proposes directions and formulas for a sustainable future, for a non-invasive and non-aggressive coexistence in society through harmony with the environment. The works are a development tool for inclusion and community processes, a metaphor marked by human egocentrism and its inability to interact, an aspect which unfolds over into other realms.

Artists: Marilena Preda Sânc, Liliana Mercioiu Popa, Mălina Ionescu, 13m10j, Natalia Silaghi, Andreea Medar, Maria Calotă, Mihai Toth

Curators: Andreea Căpitănescu & Maria Oroșan Telea

04.10.2023 - 25.10.2023 @ Bastion 2, Timișoara
Contemporary dance short movies: Let The Body Speak

A selection of contemporary dance short films created by Ukrainian choreographers and dancers, followed by a Q&A with Stanislava Ovchinnikova (curator and interdisciplinary artist from Ukraine).

Let The Body Speak is a video archive of works, movement practices and discussion of Ukrainian dancers and choreographers, created to preserve and document the somatic experience and visual evidence of the processes occurring in Ukrainian contemporary dance after the 24th of February, 2022.

"The human body is an archive that stores impressions of all the events that happen to it during its lifetime. Based on this scientifically proven idea, we decided to create a video archive of works, movement practices, and discussions of Ukrainian choreographers and dancers during the war.” - Anton Ovchinnikov

Curated by Anton Ovchinnikov and Stanislava Ovchinnikova.

04.10.2023 @ Cinema Victoria, Timișoara
Lifeboat Residency

Rita Lira and Hannah Kyrychyshyna, two dancers from the Ukraine, visit Timișoara for a  2-weeks-residency. They are given studio space at Casa Tineretului and they will take part at the Choreographic Convention 2023. Their stay will finalize with an Open House event in which they share their experiences.

26.09.2023 - 10.10.2023 @ 4Culture, Timișoara