Yeye pays homage to Yemayá, the goddess of the sea and motherhood in the Yoruba pantheon. In her latest performance work, created for the camera and now adapted to stage, choreographer and performer Lois Alexander explores the afterlife of slavery and the reverberations on our present.
In the novel Beloved, writer Toni Morrison, opens up reflections on love, trauma and memory when a mother is driven to commit the most unspeakable act. Influenced by Morrison’s writing style and drawing on her research into representations of Black mothers in mythology and religion, Lois creates her own language of blending personal narrative, historicity and spirituality. Looking specifically at icons such as the Black Madonna, Lois investigates the processes of syncretization, the blending of different religious views, and unveils their implications. Multi-layered tensions become palpable through the touching of, sensing with, and remembering through different materials, such as textile and sound.
Yeye incorporates these senses into an embodied patchwork to ways of attending to healing, and uses performance to practice strategies of refusal and resistance.Yeye is a deep reckoning of a modern era that is entangled with colonial histories, mothers and the ocean. What are the temporalities of a racialized body, one that is marked by visible and invisible wounds? What can be healing? Yeye explores memory, traces and notions of a motherland, moving through different levels of video, text and performance.
Lois Alexander is a choreographer and dancer living and working in Berlin. She graduated from The Juilliard School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in 2014 and worked in traditional German state theater before creating her own work in the independent free theater scene in Amsterdam and Berlin. Her first solo choreography Neptune has toured Europe through the Aerowaves Network. Lois is inspired by what Tina Campt describes as “textured identities” and uses the embodied nature of dance and performance to articulate an in-between, migratory state from black feminist perspectives.
CONCEPT, CHOREOGRAPHY, PERFORMANCE Lois Alexander SOUND Sea Novaa STAGE DESIGN Nina Kay COSTUME DESIGN Sarah Seini VIDEOGRAPHY Diara Sow DRAMATURGY Jasco Viefhues PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Nick Germeys PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE Ben Mohai
A production by Lois Alexander in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE. Funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Media partner: taz.die tageszeitung.