Trajal Harrell
Caen Amour
“Funny, affecting… ironic in tone, and visually like no other choreography you’ve seen” — The Guardian

Choreographer Trajal Harrell turns his singular lens to the hoochie koochie show. Harrell invites us to imagine this erotic dance—first popularized by the Syrian dancer Little Egypt in Chicago in 1893, then performed in circuses through the 1980s—at the foundations of modern dance.

Four performers loop their way through a spectacular pasteboard palace of a set, conjuring wild figures from decades past in a parade of lush costumes. The result is a high-energy performance at the crossroads of a fashion show, a dance laboratory, a dressing room, and a museum piece.

Engaging with hoochie koochie’s exoticizing, orientalist, sexually objectifying origins, Caen Amour conjures forms of creative resistance that take you between the now and the then, into the murky depths of historical imagination.

Choreography & Soundtrack: Trajal Harrell
Dancers: Trajal Harrell, Thibault Lac, Perle Palombe, and Ondrej Vidlar
Dramaturgy: Sara Jansen
Set Design: Jean-Stephan Kiss
Lighting Design: Sylvain Rausa
Costumes: Trajal Harrell and the dancers

No late seating
72 mins, no intermission
Tickets from $20

The Kitchen
512 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-255-5793 ext. 11

Co-presented with The Kitchen

About the Artist

Trajal Harrell is considered one of the most important choreographers of his generation. He gained widespread recognition for Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church series, which asked, “What would have happened in 1963 if someone from the ball scene in Harlem had come downtown to perform alongside the early postmoderns at Judson Church?” In 2016, he completed a two-year Annenberg Residency at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where he expanded his penchant for juxtaposing dance forms and turned his attention to the work of the Japanese founder of butoh dance, Tatsumi Hijikata. In this work, he looked at butoh through voguing's theoretical lens of "realness" and modern dance through the theoretical lens of butoh. Harrell has performed in American and international venues such as The Kitchen, New York Live Arts, Walker Arts Center, LA’s REDCAT, MoMA and MoMA PS1, Centre Pompidou, and events such as the Panorama Festival, Festival d’Avignon, Festival d’Automne, and Holland Festival.
Photos © Orpheas Emirzas