This event was part of our 2023 Edition

The Köln Concert  Trajal Harrell / Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble

Presented by Dublin Dance Festival and the Abbey Theatre
Irish Premiere / Opening Performance


A brave and tender celebration of genres, gender roles and personal triumph, inspired by voguing and iconic jazz.

The Köln Concert 
© Reto Schmid
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Tue 16—Wed 17 May 2023

This exquisite creation by internationally celebrated American choreographer, Trajal Harrell, interprets the most famous solo piano recording of all time, The Köln Concert by Keith Jarrett.

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€13 – €40


Abbey Theatre, on the Abbey stage

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How long?

50 mins (No interval)

There will be a post-show discussion after the performance on Wed 17 May


Tue 16 May

Wed 17 May

From the show

The Köln Concert-Trajal Harrell © Reto Schmid
The Köln Concert-Trajal Harrell © Reto Schmid
The Köln Concert-Trajal Harrell © Reto Schmid
The Köln Concert-Trajal Harrell © Reto Schmid
The Köln Concert-Trajal Harrell © Reto Schmid
The Köln Concert-Trajal Harrell © Reto Schmid
The Köln Concert-Trajal Harrell © Reto Schmid
The Köln Concert-Trajal Harrell © Reto Schmid


"The masterpiece of the art of improvisation becomes in Harrell's sense the master class of a mourning community … It is a farewell to everything that was once an intact body - and a healthy relationship between bodies"


"Trajal Harrell standing at the edge of the stage right before the start and holding up a floral dress … sets the aesthetic direction: the play with gender roles."

Badische Zeitung

"He blends East Asian dance forms and western modern dance, movements from antique vase paintings, and also voguing - the runway style of the queer subculture in New York in the 80s."

SRF Kultur

"Like statues in an antique exhibition they sit on the piano benches. Noble bodies frozen in noble postures."


Before Jarett’s iconic jazz album resounds through the auditorium, the evocative vocals of Joni Mitchell set the tone for this tender performance. On stage, seven piano stools are laid out for seven dancers, suggesting a conventional set-up at first glance. What emerges is an elegantly subversive piece that goes beyond boundaries and rejoices in the interplay between the traditional and the contemporary.

Inspired by voguing and ballroom culture and interweaving references from modern dance to ancient Greece, Trajal Harrell's Köln Concert is a search for closeness, that seeks to unite people with different world views, languages, identities, and beliefs.

Brave yet delicate, it celebrates those who have been excluded or pushed to the shadows and foregrounds their stories of emancipation and beauty in the face of abandonment.


  • Staging, Choreography, Set, Soundtrack & Costumes Trajal Harrell
  • Performers New Kyd, Perle Palombe, Trajal Harrell, Nojan Bodas Mair, Thibault Lac, Songhay Toldon, Ondrej Vidlar
  • Music Keith Jarrett, Joni Mitchell
  • Lighting Sylvain Rausa
  • Dramaturgy Katinka Deecke
  • Audience Development Mathis Neuhaus
  • Theatre Pedagogy Manuela Runge
  • Production Assistant Camille Roduit, Maja Renn
  • Set Design Assistant Ann-Kathrin Bernstetter, Natascha Leonie Simons
  • Costume Assistant Ulf Brauner, Miriam Schliehe
  • Stage Manager Michael Durrer
  • Production Intern Moritz Lienhard
  • Set Design Intern Reina Guyer
  • Technical Touring Team Andreas Greiner, Petra Kenneth, Sara Mathiasson, Stephan Wöhrmann
  • Touring Management & International Relations Björn Pätz, ART HAPPENS
  • Production Schauspielhaus Zürich

Supported by Pro Helvetia

  • Abbey-Theatre
  • Pro Helvetia

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