[BARDI noticias]

For more information, visit the site of the 34ª Bienal de São Paulo


08 SETEMBRO 2021

Last Saturday, September 4th, Instituto Bardi/Casa de Vidro received the performance “The Untitled Still Life Collection”, by the North American choreographer Trajal Harrell (1973, Georgia, USA).

Harrell problematizes, in his works, the history, construction and interpretation of contemporary dance. His work has been presented at festivals in Europe, Canada and Brazil, and places such as The Kitchen (New York, USA), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, USA) and REDCAT (Los Angeles, USA), among others. Performed performances in the context of visual arts in institutions such as MoMA, MoMA PS1, The New Museum and The Bronx Museum (New York, USA), Fondation Cartier pour L’art Contemporain (Paris, France), Center Pompidou-Metz (Metz, France) ) and Serralves Foundation (Porto, Portugal).

“In his choreographies, Trajal Harrell (1973, Georgia, USA)  combines references from the history of dance – mainly the 1960s North American avant-garde trends – with elements and movements from other contexts and histories, such as voguing, the hoochie koochie and butoh. These bold and extremely fertile encounters reveal connections between different fields of the performing arts, as bodies, identities and voices that clash with the conventional narrative of contemporary dance gain visibility. Harrell thus constructs a unique body of work, marked precisely by this hybrid and rhizomatic character, urging the spectator to imagine alternative histories of dance.

Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (2009 – 2013), the group of pieces for which Harrell has become known, are based on two distinct scenarios of New York during the 1960s: the Judson Dance Theater, a group that performed at the Judson Memorial Church, on Washington Square, and the voguing balls of Harlem. The Judson Dance Theater, active between 1962 and 1966, brought together dancers, composers and visual artists for experiments which later culminated in the creation of what is called postmodern dance. That same period saw the rise, in Harlem, of voguing, a dance competition organized at dance balls of the Afro-American LGBT community, which appropriated the vocabulary of fashion and Hollywood. Harrell’s cycle of performances arose from a provocative question: what would have happened in 1963 if someone from the voguing ball scene in Harlem had come downtown to perform alongside the early postmoderns at Judson Church? Or if the converse had occurred? This unlikely interchange repositions and contrasts two experiences of profound rupture from the status quo of that period: postmodern dance, in which the choreographies are often constructed based on everyday, apparently banal gestures, and voguing, marked by a baroque hyperperformativity that affirms genders and races proudly opposed to the patriarchal heteronormativity.” [1]

[1] Release text from 34ª Bienal de São Paulo.

For more information, visit the site of the 34ª Bienal de São Paulo