Trajal Harrel: Caen Amour

Institute of Contemporary Art 25 Harbor Shore Dr. , Boston

Choreographer Trajal Harrell, creator of the series Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at Judson Church, merges history, ritual, and fantasy to reinterpret our ideas of the past. In his newest work, Caen Amour, Harrell conjures a fictional encounter between early modern dance pioneer Loïe Fuller, butoh creator Tatsumi Hijikata, and Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo.

In Caen Amour, Harrell and his dancers resurrect the hoochie-coochie show, an exotic and erotic spectacle that debuted at World’s Fairs in Europe and America in the 19th-century. These seductive dance spectacles emerged at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, as precursors to vaudeville and striptease. For Harrell, the hoochie-coochie was a pioneering moment when female artists presented performances on the boundary between entertainment, erotic dancing, and early experiments in modern dance.

Part fashion show, part strip tease, Caen Amour weaves a spellbinding tableau of history, spectacle, and imagination.

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