Porca Miseria 3
O Medea

Trajal Harrell

Contemporary dance, voguing, Japanese butoh, ancient Greek theatre, performance art – the American choreographer Trajal Harrell conjures up his elegant, subtle vocabulary from the influence of a wide range of genres. He bases his major new trilogy Porca Miseria on the stories and battles of three very different, but equally strong women: Maggie from Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the African-American choreographer and activist Katherine Dunham, and the Greek mythological Medea. Through them he explores issues of identity, gender, sexuality and power in a compelling way, breaking the boundaries between dance, theatre and the visual arts. The first and last parts can be seen in a theatre setting, while the middle part is as much art installation as performance piece.

part 3: O Medea
Part three of Porca Miseria is based on Medea from Greek mythology. Harrell: ‘I see Medea as a woman who is ‘crazy in love’, to quote Beyoncé. Medea, who kills her own children, is a metaphor: murdering the male-defined ideal of motherhood and femininity to free herself.’ An emotional homage to a tragic heroine in an extraordinary exploration of grief.


Debra Levine
Trajal Harrell, Titilayo Adebayo, Frances Chiaverini, Maria Ferreira Silva, Vânia Doutel Vaz a.k.a. Odete Odd
direction, choreography, costumes, co-set design, sound
Trajal Harrell
co-set design
Erik Flatmo
Stéfane Perraud
Manchester International Festival
commissioned by
Manchester International Festival, Schauspielhaus Zürich, ONASSIS STEGI, Kampnagel, Holland Festival, the Barbican and Dance Umbrella, NYU Skirball, Berliner Festspiele and The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi

This performance was made possible with support by