Trajal Harrell

The American choreographer Trajal Harrell gained global recognition with his series of works Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church and is now a regular guest on the international dance and visual arts circuit. The unique style of Trajal Harrell’s works is a result not just of the unusual way in which he combines dance languages that might seem very distant from each other, such as voguing, post­modern dance and butoh, but also and above all of the fragility and humour that pervade all his work. Aesthetically, his pieces are always an homage to the people standing on stage. He clothes them in carefully­selected fabrics, draws major inspiration from developments in haute couture (which he sometimes uses on stage directly), and his highly personal style of movement turns his performers into unusual and autonomous beings. He also performs in most of his pieces himself. Already before starting as inhouse director at Schauspielhaus Zürich in 2019, his work has not just been increasingly adopted in the visual arts world; he has also directed a succession of powerful pieces for the theatre. These include for example his reworking of Sophocles’ Antigone, the free adaptation he developed of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and with Maggie The Cat a new look on Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. From 2019 till 2024 Trajal Harrell worked as in-house director at Schauspielhaus Zürich, where he directed his own dance company, the Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble. With this company he has staged The Köln Concert, Monkey off My Back or the Cat’s Meow, Deathbed, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Romeo and Tambourines in Zürich and has regularly toured internationally. In 2024, he was honored with the Silver Lion for his work at the Biennale Danza.



* in Douglas, Georgia (US)

IMPORTANT WORKS: Porca Miseria  (Maggie The Cat, The Deathbed of Catherine Dunham (March 2022), O Medea), Hoochie Koochie, Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (XS-XL), Antigone (XS-XL), Tickle the Sleeping Giant

IMPORTANT INVITATIONS: MoMa New York, Festival d’Avignon, Holland Festival, Manchester International Festival, Festival d’Automne, American Realness Festival, Berliner Festspiele, Barbican Arts Centre London, Singpore International Festival of Arts

AWARDS: Dancer of the Year (Magazin tanz), The Köln Concert named Best Dance Performances of 2023 by The New York Times, Silver Lion Biennale Danza 2024 among others

The Köln Concert,
Monkey off My Back or the Cat's Meow,
Deathbed (March 2022, in cooperation with Kunsthalle Zürich)
The House of Bernarda Alba
The Romeo



2019/20: In the Mood for Frankie, Juliet & Romeo

2020/21: The Köln Concert, The Return of La Argentina, The Conspiracy of Performance

2021/22: Monkey off My Back or the Cat’s Meow, Deathbed

2022/23: The House of Bernarda Alba, The Romeo

2023/24: Tambourines