Trajal Harrell [US] presented by Kaaitheater


31.03 – 01.04.2017

Precursor to vaudeville and striptease

History is always partly fiction. Starting from this premise and with a great deal of historical imagination, the American choreographer Trajal Harrell reinterprets our pasts. In previous work, he created a dialogue between post-modern dance and New York’s voguing scene. This time, he installs an encounter between the pioneer of early modern dance Loïe Fuller, the instigator of butoh Tatsumi Hijikata and the Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo. He also introduces the hoochie coochie shows. These seductive belly dance spectacles performed in Eastern costume emerged at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, as the precursors to vaudeville and striptease.

Trajal Harrell explores a moment in dance history when female artists presented performances on the boundary between entertainment, erotic dancing, and early experiments in modern dance. CAEN AMOUR is structured as a hoochie coochie show. With a seductive performance, scantily dressed ‘hoochies’ lure you around to the backstage area, to reveal the festivities on the ‘coochie’ side.

• Trajal Harrell’s performances grace both theatres and museums. In May 2016, he concluded a two-year residency at MoMA (New York). At Kaaitheater, he has already performed (M)imosa, Antigone Sr. and a collaboration with the artist Sarah Sze at Performatik13.

choreography Trajal Harrell | dancers Trajal Harrell, Thibault Lac, Perle Palombe, Ondrej Vidlar + guest performer | lighting design Sylvain Rausa | set design Jean Stephan Kiss | sountrack Trajal Harrell | costumes Trajal Harrell and the performers | dramaturgy Sara Jansen | co-production Kampnagel (Hamburg), Festival Avignon, Theater Freiburg, Arsenic (Lausanne), Gessnerallee (Zurich), ICA Boston, Kaaitheater (Brussels), Productiehuis Rotterdam | major funding support has also been provided by Tanzfond Erbe

programmaboekje - programme de salle - evening programme

There's more

“I always tend to find the cracks and fissures of history”

a conversation with Trajal Harrell

“I always tend to find the cracks and fissures of history”
“I always tend to find the cracks and fissures of history”


Wed 22.02.17

What happens when the Japanese butoh pioneer Tatsumi Hijikata meets the early 20th-century French dancer Loïe Fuller? This imaginative encounter lead the American choreograper Trajal Harrell to create his most recent work, CAEN AMOUR. Although he is always traveling, he found time to talk to us about Japan, about imagination and about history. “The most important liberation is the liberation of the imagination.”(in English)