Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church (L)
The (L), Antigone Sr. size follows the path paved by its little sister Jr., but also displaces the angle of perspective in order to increase the gap to a maximum : can Greek tragedy be restaged by making use of the codes of voguing ? The assimilation through this dance of cultural referents going from Egyptian hieroglyphics to model poses offers us a bias by which we can tackle antiquity’s performative context – in which the poses, cross-dressing and excess were none other than strategies serving to reflect the state of the City. By seizing upon the figure of Antigone – a woman taking a stand against the law, in a society in which only men had the right to citizenship –, Antigone Sr. activates a disturbance zone which as much political as it is sexual and form-related. With Antigone voguing in the Judson Church filter, the five performers reinvent physical horizons brimful of ambiguities. The moving, dancing bodies before us crystalize and go beyond the aesthetic questions they embody.
Updating: June 2016
New-York based choreographer Trajal Harrell often works overseas. He is famous for his series of pieces called Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church where post-modern dance meets Voguing. His series Antigone Sr., with its various sizes, won the 2012 Bessie Award for best production. During the fall of the same year he presented the last part of the series Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure)/Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church. Trajal Harrell is currently preparing a shorter piece for Cullberg Ballet and a new project for 8 performers – The Ghost of Montpellier Meets Samurai, which premiered during Montpellier Dance Festival 2015. He also created the first piece of a new series on Butoh based on Voguing. This creation called Used, Abused and Hung Out to Dry was shown in February 2013 in the MOMA.
Centre national de la danse, Réalisation
Since 2001, the National Center for Dance (CND) has been making recordings of its shows and educational programming and has created resources from these filmed performances (interviews, danced conferences, meetings with artists, demonstrations, major lessons, symposia specialized, thematic arrangements, etc.).
Choreography : Trajal Harrell
Interpretation : Trajal Harrell, Thibault Lac, Stephen Thompson, Ondrej Vidlar, Rob Fordeyn
Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Gérard Mayen
Set design : Erik Flatmo
Lights : Jan Maertens
Other collaborations : Son Robin Meier, Trajal Harrell