©Pietro Bertora
©Leila Kaletta
©Pietro Bertora

Tiran Willemse



  • 1h10
  • F Hearing-impaired spectators welcome
  • A Little or no text
  • B Accessible to persons with reduced mobility

Chorégraphie, performance: Tiran Willemse. Création lumière: Fudetani Ryoya. Création sonore: Manuel Riegler. Costumes: LML studio Berlin. Direction technique: Jacqueline Sobiszewski. Production: Paelden Tamnyen, Rabea Grand. Remerciements: Nkisi, Kevin Bo, Mateusz Szymanówka, Thyago Sainte.

Coproductions: Sophiensaele Berlin, Tanzquartier Wien, Gessnerallee Zürich, WP Zimmer Antwerp. Accueils en résidence: Tanzhaus Zurich, Buda Kortrijk, Les Urbaines Lausanne, Impulstanz Vienna, Trauma bar und Kino Berlin.

blackmilk is the first performance of the Trompoppies trilogy, created by Tiran Willemse.
Derived from Afrikaans, “Trompoppies” refers to the drum majorettes in uniform. The performance disects one of the choreographic elements of the formation dances they perform: hand gestures. By fusing the movements of these drum majorettes with the melodramatic gestures of white femme starlets and gestures associated with black male rap stars, the work explores the distance between images of African and African-American male-presenting bodies.
blackmilk intervenes in this limited repertoire of representations using performativity. Tiran Willemse explores a variety of affective bodies in what can be understood as grey areas of legible identities, opening them up to a complex sensibility that the artist describes as a “black male melancholy”. In this tense performance, the performer, a virtuoso with a haunting, inhabited gaze, overturns conventions and shifts the spectator’s gaze to the margins.

Tiran Willemse is a dancer, choreographer and researcher from South Africa based in Zurich Switzerland. His performance based practice is rooted in a careful attention to space, imagination, gesture, and sound, focusing on how they relate to the ways in which constructions of race, gender and memory are performed, communicated and challenged. He worked and collaborated with Trajal Harrell, Jerome Bel, Wu-Tsang (Moved by motion) Ligia Lewis, Meg Stuart, Andros Zins-Browne, Eszter Salamon and Deborah Hay. His work has been shown in Palais Tokyo Paris , Cantonal museum of fine arts Lausanne, Museum Macro Rome, Impulstanz Wien, Santarcangelo Festival Italy, Kunsthaus Baselland, Tanzquartier Wien, Sophiensaele Berlin, Arsenic Lausanne. Willemse won the Swiss Performance Art Award 2023 and is currently resident artist at Gessnerallee in Zurich while his work continues touring internationally.