Presented in collaboration with the Performa 19 Biennial, the U.S. premiere of Sènsa is developed by Paul Maheke in collaboration with Melika Ngombe Kolongo (aka Nkisi), DJ, electronic music producer and co-founder of the music label NON Worldwide. Combining sound, movement and light, the performance draws on research into rhythm and the realm of the invisible, taking its inspiration from the cosmologies of the Bantu-Kongo. The work is accompanied by a lighting score designed by Ariel Efraim Ashbel.


Paul Maheke lives and works in London. He completed an MA in Art Practice from ENSAPC (2011). Recent solo shows include: White Devil, Galerie Sultana (2019); A fire circle for a public hearing, Vleeshal, Middelburg (2019) Dans L’éther, là ou l’eau, 6th Biennale de Rennes, Galerie Art et Essai (2018); Letter to a Barn Owl, Kevin Space, Vienna (2018); Group exhibitions and performances include: Meetings on Art, 58th Venice Biennale; Baltic Triennial XIII: Give Up the Ghost, Tallinn Art Hall (2018); The Distance is Nowhere (with Sophie Mallett), Manifesta 12, Palermo (2018); The Centre Cannot Hold Itself, Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (2018).

Nkisi is the alias of Melika Ngombe Kolongo, an artist raised in Belgium and now living in London. She’s a producer, DJ and co-founder of NON Records, a collective of African artists and of the diaspora, using sound as their primary media, to articulate the visible and invisible structures that create binaries in society, and in turn distribute power. While producing her own tracks, she goes for a heavily layered, relentless sound, often playing with collective memory.


Sènsa is co-commissioned and co-presented by Abrons Arts Center and Performa. Supported by Arts Council England, FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), and the Flemish Minister for Culture. This project has been selected and supported by the patronage committee for the arts of Fondation des Artistes. With additional help from ICA London. A first iteration of Sènsa was developed in collaboration with Block Universe.

The 2019-2020 Season at Abrons Arts Center is supported, in part, by generous grants from the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Jerome Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, and other generous Henry Street Settlement funders. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the New York State Council on the arts with the support of Govenor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image: Block Universe