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The Sardine Swims to the Tenderloin Museum

The Tenderloin Museum presents The Sardine Swims to the Tenderloin Museum, an interactive, multidisciplinary performance piece by dancer, choreographer, and artist Melissa Lewis.

Best known as the founder of the sardine, a tiny (9' x 12') Tenderloin-based studio space, Lewis creates works in a style of contemporary dance that’s best described as a combination of physical theater and visual performance art. Located within artist collective Get High On Mountains since March 2017, the non-traditional space takes the idea of “intimate stage” to the extremity, creating a highly proximal setting which requires audiences to watch and think about movement in a new way.

In The Sardine Swims to the Tenderloin Museum, the artist will explore the literal confines of a space — via physical found art sardine tins, as well as the conceptual confines of space — via a painters tape “recreation” of the sardine space. Lewis, whose works in her own unusual performance space are inherently site-specific, will present a new take on her personal execution of contemporary dance by immersing herself (alongside fellow dancer Danny Nguyen) in the new and vastly different environment of the Tenderloin Museum.

Melissa Lewis moved from Massachusetts in 2010 to study Performing Arts & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco. Since then she has visited her 105-year-old Chinese grandmother weekly, made coffee to support dancing professionally, and discovered a film photography practice at Rayko. She is a company member of detour dance and has a short dance film (titled pretty clean) to premiere this year. the sardine is her most recent project.