Hailed as one of his generation’s most prominent choreographers and dancers, Trajal Harrell makes his Asian debut with two hauntingly mesmerising performances, In The Mood For Frankie and The Return Of La Argentina. Each rethinks the relationship between unsettling, surrealist Japanese butoh and highly stylised Harlem voguing, two seemingly different dance forms that started more than 50 years ago.
In The Mood For Frankie turns towards the female muses of late butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata, as well as draws upon a diverse set of muses, such as butohdancers Kazuo Ohno and Yoko Ashikawa, modern dance choreographer Katherine Dunham, filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, fashion designer and Commes des Garcons founder Rei Kawakubo, and singer Sade, as well as Harrell’s own working relationships with dancers Thibault Lac and Ondrej Vidlar.
Set on a bare fashion catwalk, Harrell and his two dancers perform on a runway lined with piano benches for the audience to sit on, watching. At once, In The Mood For Frankie spills out like a park of muses settled between classical modernism and postmodern romanticism.
Harrell became known for his dance series called “Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church”. It re-imagined a meeting between early postmodern dance and the voguing dance tradition that was popularised by pop queen Madonna in her “Vogue” video. All seven works in the series continue to tour internationally, including “Antigone Sr.”, which won the 2012 Bessie Award for Best Production. Harrell's work has been presented at international venues and festivals, such as New York’s The Kitchen, Festival d’Automne in Paris and Tanz im August, Berlin.
In The Mood For Frankie is commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Produced by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA).