DE/EN

Trajal Harrell

04.03–03.04.2022

In light of high demand some additional tickets are available for the remaining performances of both Deathbed and Dancer of the Year. These can be booked online at www.schauspielhaus.ch.

Deathbed runs for 1 hour 15 minutes and is then repeated (as a loop). A limited number of additional places are available for the repetition at 9.15pm. These can be bought on site at the evening box office at Kunsthalle Zürich, both before the performance at 7.30pm and at 9pm.

Kunsthalle Zürich, in collaboration with Schauspielhaus Zürich, presents three projects by the influential American dancer and choreographer Trajal Harrel: Dancer of the Year (2018), Deathbed (2022) and Dancer of The Year Shop #4 (2022).

Tickets to the performances (Deathbed & Dancer of the Year) are available exclusively via Schauspielhaus Zürich.

Trajal Harrel takes up residence at Kunsthalle Zürich from 4 March–3 April. He presents the exhibition Dancer of the Year Shop #4 and the dance works Dancer of the Year from 2018 and Deathbed (a world premiere). For a month, Kunsthalle Zürich becomes a stage for dance, a theatre and the location for a performative exhibition. The institution changes roles once again – as was the case for The Playground Project (2016), Rob Pruitt. The Church (2017) or Georgian Modernism (2018) – sounding out its own function and enabling access to new, urgent, experimental content. Trajal Harrell is among the most discussed choreographers and dancers today, because he combines particularly timely subject matters with various schools of dance (particularly postmodern dance, butoh and voguing). In so doing he not only electrifies audiences, but equally stimulates discussion and thought which resonates long afterwards.

“What would have happened in 1963 if someone from the voguing ballroom scene in Harlem had come downtown to perform alongside the early postmoderns at Judson Church?” (Trajal Harrell)

Trajal Harrell came to prominence with the Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church series of works which theoretically juxtaposed the voguing dance tradition with that of early postmodern dance. Throughout his oeuvre, Harrell plays with the question what if…?, which allows him to rethink and understand the history and tradition of dance anew. He is now considered one of the most influential dancers and choreographers of his generation.


Dancer of the Year (2018)
The point of departure for Dancer of the Year is Harrell’s nomination as ‘Dancer of the Year’ by German Tanz magazine in 2018. The project consists of a dance solo in which Harrell focuses attention on (self-)representation. He confronts his singularity and aesthetic with the eponymous honorary title and reflects on what he means to dance and what dance means to him.

Dancer of The Year Shop #4 (2022)
In Dancer of The Year Shop #4 Harrell puts his own personal items and objects from his family up for sale. He thus brings to light questions regarding origins, souvenirs and heritage; value, commerce and art; dance, theatre and exhibition. Dancer of The Year Shop #4 is part of Harrell's exhibition at Kunsthalle Zürich and can be visited daily during opening hours and is activated from 2-5.30pm.

Deathbed (2022)
Deathbed is part of the trilogy Porca Miseria, commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Onassis Stegi, Kampnagel Hamburg, Holland Festival, Barbican, Dance Umbrella, NYU Skirball, Berliner Festspiele & The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi. Trajal Harrell's epic trilogy Porca Miseria unites three women from literature and history who were dismissed and attacked and who responded to these brutal assaults with a determined mix of pride and combativeness. Medea, who was sent into exile and murdered her own children, the unapproachable and explosive Maggie from Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the choreographer Katherine Dunham. In this new work Harrell brings together his memory of Dunham and the aesthetic relationship to death and ritual characteristic of butoh. African-American dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham, renowned for creating a space for African and Caribbean dance traditions and ritual on the concert dance stage, travelled the world with her own dance company in the 1940s and 50s. However, she was also an activist who went on a hunger strike against the deportation from the United States of Haitian refugees and who fought fervently for equal rights in her own country.

Conversation between Trajal Harrell and Daniel Baumann, conducted during the Engadin Art Talks in 2021:

Trajal Harrell’s work has been presented in many American and international venues including The Kitchen (NYC), Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Festival d’Avignon and Panorama Festival (Rio de Janeiro) among others. He has also shown performance work in visual art contexts such as MoMA, MoMA PS1, Performa Biennial at the Fondation Cartier (Paris), The New Museum (New York), The Margulies Art Warehouse (Miami), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Serralves Museum (Porto), The Barbican Centre (London), Centre Pompidou-Paris and Metz and ICA Boston.

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Press information

For image inquiries, information on the exhibition program and interviews contact Aoife Rosenmeyer: presse [​at​] kunsthallezurich.ch oder +41 (0)44 272 15 15
Agenda
March
Fr 04.03.
20:00

Premiere: Deathbed

Sa 05.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Su 06.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Th 10.03.
20:00

Dancer of the Year

Fr 11.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Sa 12.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Su 13.03.
20:00

Deathbed

We 16.03.
19:00

Dancer of the Year

Th 17.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Fr 18.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Sa 19.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Tu 22.03.
20:00

Dancer of the Year

We 23.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Th 24.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Fr 25.03.
20:00

Deathbed

Sa 26.03.
20:00

Dancer of the Year

Th 31.03.
20:00

Dancer of the Year