Lisson Gallery

Lisson Gallery hosts CHOREOMANIA evening of performance

17 April 2023

In April, Lisson Gallery hosted CHOREOMANIA, an evening of experiential performance, image and sound, curated by Róisín Tapponi. The performances took place within and responded to Haroon Mirza's exhbiition '|||' (24 Feburary – 6 April 2023).

CHOREOMANIA takes as its departing point the historical event of ‘The Dance Fever’ which occurred in 1518, in Alsace, France. Due to a mysterious fever, village inhabitants danced until death from exhaustion. This event has since been re-interpreted in popular culture, such as in Powell and Pressburger’s film The Red Shoes (1948), and in numerous choreographies and theatrical performances in Europe and further afield.

Themes of healing, ritual behaviours and altered states were explored in Mirza’s exhibition, in which a constellation of conceptual artworks conceived around the so-called ‘Holy’ frequency of 111hz provided a sonic bathing experience that permeated the gallery spaces. The series of London-based artists involved in CHOREOMANIA added to the soundscapes and moved in response to the sculptures and installations.

CHOREOMANIA featured movement artist Yagamoto, sound artists Naima Karlsson and Kenichi Iwasa (Exotic Sin) and Xiaoqiao, with artistic documentation by Bernice Mulenga and costumes by Wales Bonner.

Róisín Tapponi is a curator, writer and PhD scholar. She is Founder of Shasha Movies, the independent streaming service for South-West Asia and North Africa cinema. This year, Tapponi was honoured in Forbes' 30 Under 30 Europe.

Yagamoto is a movement director based in London. He is used to expressing himself through movement having been on both sides of the camera during his career. At college in Southend, Essex Yagamoto studied acting, improvisation and physical theatre. Yagamoto has gone on to devise choreography for Louis Vuitton, Naomi Campbell for Self Portrait, Off-White, Dazed, British Vogue, and Calvin Klein.

Naima Karlsson is a multi-disciplinary artist and musician. Naima’s main instrument is the piano, as well as percussion, vibraphone, and keyboards. Improvisation is at the core of her process, combined with minimalist uses of tone, and an organic approach to playing. Naima is part of the duo Exotic Sin with Kenichi Iwasa, and runs her grandparents’ estate, the Moki Cherry and Don Cherry Archive.

Kenichi Iwasa is an improviser and multidisciplinary artist. He plays a variety of instruments including trumpet, flute, percussion and handmade woodwinds, combined with electronic effects. Iwasa is also known for his legendary Krautrock Karaoke night, and has collaborated with visual artists and musicians such as Beatrice Dillon, Maxwell Sterling, Damo Suzuki and Linder Sterling.

Xiaoqiao is an experimental sound artist and singer-songwriter. Her work explores the unspoken space of the psyche with drone experiments on harp, and underwater-type vocals, creating dream-like sonic journeys. She is currently working on her first EP in collaboration with BON.

Bernice Mulenga is a photographer with a distinct aptitude for archiving, documenting and interrogating the world around them. After years of capturing Black queer life with their film camera, Bernice Mulenga's photography has become an archive for the community. This is seen in their ongoing photo series #friendsonfilm, which explores reoccurring themes surrounding grief, sexuality and family.

Photography by Bernice Mulenga. FIlm by Joe Hilty.

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