Ligia Lewis

Sorrow Swag May 16, 2019May 18, 2019May 19, 2019

GET TICKETS Merrill Theater

Thu, May 16, 8 pm
Sat, May 18, 7:30 pm 
Sun, May 19, 5 pm 

Capacity: 300

Packages that include both Sorrow Swag & minor matter are available; audiences can see both performances in short succession with a break between on Sat, May 18 & Sun, May 19. Purchase a two-show package here.

All performances are also available as single tickets. 


General admission
$26 advance
$30 week of
$70 covers the average, per-ticket cost of staging a production at On the Boards

Discounted tickets
Under 25: $12 advance or $15 week of 
Seniors 65+: $23 advance or $25 week of 
TeenTix member: $5 

The 2-Show Package 
$45 for any two performances of both Sorrow Swag and minor matter 
Purchase the 2-show package HERE 

Purchase single tickets →
Learn more about tickets and handling fees →


Ligia Lewis is a dancer and choreographer who works in multiple contexts, including in theatres and museums. Engaging with affect and empathy, her choreography considers the social inscriptions of the body while evoking its potentiality. Her work can be described as experientially rich and complex. Within her practice, Lewis continues to provoke the nuances of embodiment. 

Sorrow Swag, the first part in Lewis's BLUE, RED, WHITE triptych, takes the color blue as a point of departure to work through grief and sadness. The performance uses texts and images derived from mid-century classical theater, Beckett and Anouilh, to interrogate race, authorship, gender, and grief. Sorrow Swag disrupts the canonical by means of an imaginative reformulation that prioritizes sensation. The work takes place in an immersive visual and auditory space and uses color as a synesthetic texture and emotional referent to produce a choreography that engages language, text, affect and embodiment. Sorrow Swag takes race and melancholy as points of departure for an experience that unfolds through the language of sadness.

On the Boards will present minor matter, Part II in Lewis's triptych, on the same weekend as Sorrow Swag, giving audiences an exclusive opportunity to view both works back-to-back. 

"Viscerally nightmarish and spectacular in its simplicity, Sorrow Swag draws its audience into a sensorial abyss populated by cultural remnants of the Western canon."
— Contemporary performance

Watch the trailer

trailer for Ligia Lewis: Sorrow Swag

Related Events

Totokaelo and On the Boards host an exclusive shopping event at Totokaelo in Capitol Hill in anticipation of the weekend performances by Ligia Lewis. Accompanying a projection of Lewis's performances, the night's soundtrack will be provided by KEXP DJ Tim Betterley, drinks will be served, and guests will enjoy 15% off the collection. Wednesday, May 15 from 6-8PM.
On the Boards is delighted to welcome Cultural Creative Partner Totokaelo this season. Totokaelo Seattle is located in Capitol Hill, at 1523 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122.

Guests join us for a carefully curated supper by Racha and Wassef Haroun of Mamnoon on the opening night of Ligia Lewis. Our Studio Suppers series brings art lovers together for a fantastic family-style, pre-show dinner prepared by one of Seattle's finest chefs. Find out more

Artistic Director Rachel Cook hosts a conversation with Ligia Lewis about her work. 3 PM on Saturday, May 18. Free with tickets to any of the weekend’s performances. 

Sweet Pea Cottage School of the Arts will lead an arts workshop at On the Boards titled “Obstacles and Legos” just for kids ages 2-10. Find out more

About the Artist

Ligia Lewis, born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the US, is currently based in Berlin. In 2017 Lewis was awarded a Bessie for Outstanding Production for her latest stage work, minor matter, and awarded the Prix Jardin d’Europe for her work Sorrow Swag. In 2018 she was granted a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award in the field of dance. Both her stage works minor matter (2016) and Sorrow Swag (2014) continue to tour internationally. Her work has been shown at various venues and festivals including the following: Abrons Art Center/American Realness (NYC), Flax/Fahrenheit (LA), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), TATE Modern (London), Stedelijk Museum/Julidans Festival (Amsterdam), REDCAT/Pacific Standard Time (LA), and Tanz im August presented by HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin).  

As a dancer, Lewis has performed and toured extensively for artists including Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Mette Ingvartsen, and Eszter Salamon. She has collaborated with visual artist Wu Tsang, musical artist Twin Shadow, and with the DJ collective NON Worldwide. Ligia Lewis is currently managed and produced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) and she is a factory artist at tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf).



Sorrow Swag is a production by Ligia Lewis. Funded by Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, with support from Human Resources Los Angeles, ADA Studio Berlin and Pieter Space (Los Angeles). Sorrow Swag and minor matter are presented in part with funding from ArtsWA and the National Endowment for the Arts.