HAU2

In Performance: Trajal Harrell, Caen Amour (Tanz im August)

Caen Amour Trajal Harrell Tanz im August, HAU2 August 17-19 “Hoochie in the front, koochie in the back,” explains the chipper woman who takes the stage early in Caen Amour to walk us through the performance. She is referring to the hoochie-koochie show, a pastiche of so-called “oriental” and “exotic” dance styles that emerged in the U.S. in the early twentieth century, which provides the framework for Trajal Harrell’s piece. Her statement also playfully introduces us to the performance’s bifurcated playing area, created by a flat backdrop (with one doorway and a shadow-play window) cutting across the middle of the space. On one side is the show proper: dancers enter through the doorway, shake and strut their way across the stage, and make a tantalizing exit on the other side of the wall. O...