(c) Thyago Saint

Tiran Willemse

  • Dance
  • Performance

For blackmilk, choreographer and dancer Tiran Willemse assimilates diverse gestural expressive movement material and reflects how it is read. He connects precise hand gestures as a choreographic element of Trompoppie (Afrikaans = drum majorette in uniform) formation dancing with the melodramatic poses taken on by white starlets, and gestures associated with Black rap stars. Blackmilk intervenes in the representation of Black masculinity with the tools of performance, opening them for a different complexity and sensitivity, described by Tiran Willemse as “Black male melancholia”.

With a magnificent sound, theatre effects with astounding impact and a dance swaying between virtuosity and desperation, blackmilk is an intense and tension-filled solo that, lastly, also opens questions for the relation between art and reception, conventions of art enjoyment, and sovereignty.


Tiran Willemse is a dancer and choreographer from South Africa living in Zurich and Berlin. His works are based on a diligent observation of space, imagination, gesture, and sound, wherein he constantly explores the relations between race and gender and how they are performed, communicated, and questioned. He collaborated with Trajal Harrell, Jérôme Bel, Meg Stuart, Ligia Lewis, Eszter Salamon, and others.

Choreografie, Performance: Tiran Willemse; Lichtdesign: Fudetani Ryoya, Tiran Willemse; Musik: Manuel Riegler, Tiran Willemse; Kostüm: lml studio; mit besonderem Dank an: Nkisi, Kevin Bo, Mateusz Szymanówka, Thyago Sainte.

Eine Koproduktion von Tiran Willemse mit Tanzquartier Wien, SOPHIENSÆLE, Berlin, Gessnerallee Zürich und WPzimmer, Antwerpen; Residency unterstützt durch Tanzhaus Zürich, Buda, Kortrijk, LesUrbaines, Lausanne.
Gefördert vom Bündnis Internationaler Produktionshäuser, gefördert von der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.