Art Happens

Dancer of the Year

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© Marc Domage

Harrell created this solo after being chosen by Tanz Magazine as Dancer of the Year 2018. This unexpected recognition triggered many reflections, prompting him to question his status and identity as a dancer. The result is a reflective dance solo in which Harrell draws attention to (self-)representation. He confronts his individuality and aesthetics with the eponymous honorary title and asks himself what he means to dance and what dance means to him.

In the dance solo Dancer of the Year, we see Trajal Harrell repeating gestures to store them in his body, revisiting movement material and choreographic strategies from earlier work, and arousing and bringing together different emotions. In an intimate setting, Harrell shares his work with us and offers us his dance as a gift. Harrell re-examines his artistic pedigree and the choreographic strategies he has developed over the years to express himself and his (own) identity. His work reveals hidden or traditionally less theorised connections – across time, place and cultures – and opens up spaces for the creation and representation of alternative dance histories. His research focuses on the politics of performing one’s own identity and of “the other”, on Orientalism and the role of cultural appropriation in modern dance, and on the historical connection between, for example, dance and exoticism, eroticism and prostitution. The influence of the Japanese choreographer Tatsumi Hijikata, for example, who asked his dancers to work in nightclubs to make money, is not far off. Harrell’s speculative history allows other bodies, identities and voices to become part of the conventional story, and to disrupt it.

It’s one thing to be named Dancer of the Year, it’s something entirely different to try and make something of it.
- Trajal Harrell

Choreography, dance, sound and costume design: Trajal Harrell
Dramaturgy: Sara Jansen
Production: CauseCélèbre vzw
Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Kanal – Centre Pompidou, Impulstanz Festival, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bit Theatergarasjen, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Lafayette Anticipation, Museum Ludwig, Dampfzentrale Bern, Schauspielhaus Zürich
Diffusion: ART HAPPENS

DatePerformanceCity CountryOrganisation/Venue
15.12.2022Dancer of the YearMilan (it)Triennale Milano
16.12.2022Dancer of the YearMilan (it)Triennale Milano
17.12.2022Dancer of the YearMilan (it)Triennale Milano
16.03.2023Dancer of the YearBonn (de)8. Internationales Bonner Tanzsolofestival/Theater im Ballsaal
20.10.2022Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED)Bergen (no)BIT Teatergarasjen
09.04.2022Dancer of the YearVenice (it)Asteroide Amor
31.03.2022Dancer of the YearZurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
26.03.2022Dancer of the YearZurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
22.03.2022Dancer of the YearZurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
16.03.2022Dancer of the YearZurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
10.03.2022Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED)Zurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
23.01.2022Dancer of the YearAubervilliers (fr)La Commune - Centre dramatique nationale
22.01.2022Dancer of the YearAubervilliers (fr)La Commune - Centre dramatique nationale
21.01.2022Dancer of the YearAubervilliers (fr)La Commune - Centre dramatique nationale
29.10.2021Dancer of the YearBergen (no)BIT Teatergarasjen
23.10.2021Dancer of the YearParis (fr)Lafayette Anticipations
22.10.2021Dancer of the YearParis (fr)Lafayette Anticipations
30.09.2021Dancer of the YearRotterdam (nl)Theater Rotterdam
29.09.2021Dancer of the YearRotterdam (nl)Theater Rotterdam
19.07.2021Dancer of the YearVienna (at)ImPulsTanz
25.06.2021Dancer of the YearMilan (it)Triennale Milano
24.06.2021Dancer of the YearMilan (it)Triennale Milano
14.01.2021Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Rotterdam (nl)Theater Rotterdam
13.01.2021Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Rotterdam (nl)Theater Rotterdam
09.01.2021Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Rome (it)Teatro India
28.11.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Paris (fr)Lafayette Anticipations
27.11.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Paris (fr)Lafayette Anticipations
24.10.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Bergen (no)BIT Teatergarasjen
24.10.2020Dancer of the YearLille (fr)Latitudes Contemporaines
22.10.2020Dancer of the YearGhent (be)CAMPO
21.10.2020Dancer of the YearGhent (be)CAMPO
29.08.2020Dancer of the YearGeneva (ch)La Bâtie - Festival de Genève
28.08.2020Dancer of the YearGeneva (ch)La Bâtie - Festival de Genève
19.07.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Vienna (at)ImPulsTanz
18.07.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Vienna (at)ImPulsTanz
09.07.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Munich (de)Münchner Kammerspiele
19.06.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Lille (fr)Latitudes Contemporaines
06.05.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Zurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
03.05.2020Dancer of the Year  (PREMIERE - CANCELLED-Covid-19)Zurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
26.04.2020Dancer of the Year  (PREMIERE - CANCELLED-Covid-19)Zurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
24.04.2020Dancer of the Year  (PREMIERE - CANCELLED-Covid-19)Zurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
18.04.2020Dancer of the Year  (PREMIERE - CANCELLED-Covid-19)Zurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
17.04.2020Dancer of the Year  (PREMIERE - CANCELLED-Covid-19)Zurich (ch)Schauspielhaus Zürich
15.03.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Milan (it)Triennale Milano
14.03.2020Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED - Covid-19)Milan (it)Triennale Milano
08.03.2020Dancer of the YearBochum (de)Schauspielhaus Bochum
06.03.2020Dancer of the YearBochum (de)Schauspielhaus Bochum
07.11.2019Dancer of the YearBern (ch)Dampfzentrale Bern/Schauspielhaus Zürich
19.10.2019Dancer of the YearGlasgow (gb)Tramway
18.10.2019Dancer of the YearGlasgow (gb)Tramway
09.10.2019Dancer of the YearWarsaw (pl)Festival Body/Mind
22.09.2019Dancer of the YearParis (fr)Lafayette Anticipations/Autumn Festival
21.09.2019Dancer of the YearParis (fr)Lafayette Anticipations/Autumn Festival
31.08.2019Dancer of the YearOslo (no)Black Box Teater
30.08.2019Dancer of the YearOslo (no)Black Box Teater
26.07.2019Dancer of the Year  (CANCELLED)Vienna (at)ImPulsTanz
20.07.2019Dancer of the YearDro (it)Centrale Fies
19.05.2019Dancer of the YearBrussels (be)Kunstenfestivaldesarts
18.05.2019Dancer of the YearBrussels (be)Kunstenfestivaldesarts
12.05.2019Dancer of the YearBrussels (be)Kunstenfestivaldesarts
11.05.2019Dancer of the YearBrussels (be)Kunstenfestivaldesarts
10.05.2019Dancer of the Year  (WORLD PREMIERE)Brussels (be)Kunstenfestivaldesarts