Trajal Harrell / Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble
In his highly acclaimed choreographic work, Harrell explores alternative readings of dance history by juxtaposing American early postmodern dance with other modes of performativity, including performative strategies borrowed from the Voguing competitions at the Harlem Ballrooms, for instance, and from the fashion catwalk. In his latest piece, Harrell brings together his memory of Katherine Dunham and the aesthetic relationship to death and ritual characteristic of butoh. African-American dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham, renowned for creating a space for African and Caribbean dance traditions and ritual on the concert dance stage, travelled the world with her own dance company in the 1940s and 50s. However, she was also an activist who went on a hunger strike against the deportation from the United States of Haitian refugees and who fought fervently for equal rights in her own country.