The Romeo

© Orpheas Emirzas

By Trajal Harrell
Staging and choreography: Trajal Harrell

Picture a dance. Let’s call it the “Romeo”, after Shakespeare’s young lover who, in ignited enthusiasm, believed he could conquer death. Picture this dance, which would be known all over the world, although no one would know when and where it was created. Some would say that it was first danced many centuries ago while herding sheep in an alpine pasture; others might claim to have seen it for the first time at a rural funeral; perhaps it was created during a break in a mine shaft or after an errant shot during a hunt on the North American steppes; or maybe the daughter of a Japanese fisherman danced the Romeo for the first time when her father had reached the safe shore again after a violent storm.

No matter where the Romeo would have originated: imagine this dance that people of all origins, genders, and generations, of all temperaments and moods, dance when they face their tragedies and only dance. Trajal Harrell will now bring it to Zurich. And maybe that’s where the story really begins.


With Frances Chiaverini / Vânia Doutel Vaz / Maria Ferreira Silva / Rob Fordeyn / Challenge Gumbodete / Trajal Harrell / New Kyd / Thibault Lac / Christopher Matthews / Nasheeka Nedsreal / Perle Palombe / Norel Amestoy Penck / Stephen Thompson / Songhay Toldon
Rehearsal directors
Vânia Doutel Vaz / Maria Ferreira Silva / Stephen Thompson / Ondrej Vidlar
Staging, Choreography, Stage design, Costumes
Trajal Harrell
Stage Design
Nadja Sofie Eller
Trajal Harrell / Asma Maroof
Stéfane Perraud
Miriam Ibrahim / Katinka Deecke
Show all contributers
Audience Development
Mathis Neuhaus
Touring, International Relations & Production
Björn Pätz / ART HAPPENS
Production Assistance
Camille Charlotte Roduit
Stage design assistance
Eva Lillian Wagner
Costume Design Assistant
Mona Eglsoer / Lena Bohnet
Production intern
Mia Frick
Aleksandar Sascha Dinevski
Show less contributers

A production by Schauspielhaus Zürich with the Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble. In Co-production with Festival d’Avignon, Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Singapore International Festival of Arts, Berliner Festspiele, La Villette (Paris), Festival D’Automne à Paris, Comédie de Genève, La Bâtie-Festival de Genève, La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand scène nationale, TANDEM – Scène Nationale (Douai), December Dance - Concertgebouw and Cultuurcentrum Brugge

Supported by Trajal Harrell Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble Fan Club & Michael Ringier

  • ca. 75 minutes, no break
  • Premiere: 1. April 2023, Pfauen
  • Also interesting for 14 year olds
  • 🛈 Introduction 30 min before the play on 3.4., 15.4., 28.4. and 22.5.
Introduction: Miriam Ibrahim, Dramaturgy

Image gallery & Videos

Bits on Pieces
More texts and contexts related to our stagings in the theatre’s journal.

Es gibt viele Gründe, warum ein Mensch tanzt. Wir haben die Mitglieder des Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble, die derzeit in Trajal Harrells The Romeo auf der Bühne des Pfauen zu sehen sind, gefragt, warum sie es tun. Und die Antworten sind so unterschiedlich wie die Menschen, die sie geben. 

The Directors Talk
About Season 22/23

In seven short videos, Trajal Harrell, Nicolas Stemann, Yana Ross, Christopher Rüping, Suna Gürler, Wu Tsang and Stas Zhyrkov talk about their plans for the upcoming theatre season.