Trajal Harrell was my dancer of the year long before tanz, a German magazine for dance, ballet and performance, awarded him this title in 2018. When, in 2015, he and Thibault Lac interpreted the story of Antigone at Dampfzentrale, he began to sing halfway through the piece. His dancing and singing crept into my body. In a way, time stood still. This gentle, almost tearful voice, which appeared – with both anger and humour – to be asking for salvation, left me in a state somewhere between 100 % tension and inner relief. In his solo «Dancer of the Year», Harrell now asks about the value of dance and once again creates a provocative space for an alternative dance history. A gift.

Andrea Wildt, Communication / Dampfzentrale Bern

Trajal Harrell is a phenomenon: An artist who is equally at home in both museums and theatres. He became famous through his series «Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church», which contrasts the voguing ball scene with early postmodern dance.

«Dancer of the Year» is a work complex consisting of an installation called «the shop» and a solo. Before its premiere at Schauspielhaus Zürich in March 2020, Dampfzentrale Bern presents the first Swiss showing of the solo. From this season Trajal Harrell is director in residence of Schauspielhaus Zürich.

Credits

Trajal Harrell ist Hausregisseur am Schauspielhaus Zürich.

«Dancer of the Year» ist eine Produktion von Trajal Harrell in Koproduktion mit Kunstenfestival des Arts, Kanal – Centre Pompidou, Impulstanz Festival, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bit Theatergarasjen, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Lafayette Anticipation, Museum Ludwig, Dampfzentrale Bern und Schauspielhaus Zürich.

Choreografie, Performance, Kostüme und Sound Design: Trajal Harrell. Dramaturgie: Sara Jansen. Produktion: Cause Célèbre vzw. Distribution: Art Happens.

Fotocredit: Orpheas Emirzas.