Tickle the Sleeping Giant is “a permanent work-in-progress” by choreographer Trajal Harrell developing over the course of 20 stages. Proposed as open-ended, modular, and unfinished, once the work has been created through twenty performance stages it will be unfinished for perpetuity and performed no longer. An important aspect of this concept is to discover the possibilities existing within a structure which develops publicly over time for the sake of questioning the definitions, strategies, and terms of a choreographic practice, inquiry, and presentation.
In Stages #1 through #6, the work explored the notion of how the “aesthetic of cool” gets written on the body. It began as a collaboration with fashion designer Joseph Carter, the design director at Marc Jacobs, and composer Mechelle N’degeocello. In stage #6, it morphed into an online photographic essay in colloaboration with a photographer, David Bergé. Finally in Stage #7, despite resisting becoming a piece or a work of art, the project became that – it became The Ambien Piece. Hopefully as the Stages accrue it will once again morph and perhaps abandon its arthood. However, for now it lives as The Ambien Piece.
On the occasion of Stage #10, Harrell and Bergé reunited for a one-time performance made specifically for Tokyo.
Tickle #1 2001 Danspace Project, New York, NY
Tickle #2 2001 Watch Your Eyes Exhibition/ Intl. Contemporary Furniture Fair, New York, NY
Tickle #3 2001 Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY
Tickle #4 2003 Segel Theatre/CUNY Grad Center, New York, NY
Tickle #5 2003 Proshansky Lobby/CUNY Grad Center, New York, NY
Tickle #6 2006 The Adventure/ Impulstanz Festival Vienna (www.theadventure.be), Vienna, Austria
Tickle #7 2006 Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York, NY (the ambien piece)
Tickle #8 2008 Dance Theater Workshop, New York, NY
Tickle #9 2009 In Transit Festival, Berlin, Germany (the ambien piece)
Tickle #10 2012 Whenever Whatever Festival, Tokyo, Japan (the ambien piece, in collaboration with David Bergé)