Harrell gained international recognition for creating a series of works that bring together the tradition of voguing - a modern dance style developed in the late 1980s from the Harlem ballroom scene - with early postmodern dance. He is considered to be one of the most important choreographers working in contemporary dance today. In his latest work, the artist combines theoretical ideas from voguing with gestures formal ideas that deriveg from Butoh dance, which was conceived in Japan during the late 50’s and early 60’s. Weaving the links between two seemingly distant dance cultures, the artist puts the body at the centre of his research exploring the ways in which it becomes a receptacle of memory, the past and historical characters who have inspired this work. Intertwining notions of time, history and transcultural references, it reveals the multitude of layers that make up the richness of history of contemporary dance.

Harrell has had his work presented at Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels; Kunsthalle Bern; Aichi Triennial; MUDAM, Luxembourg; Holland Festival, Amsterdam; Kunsthalle Zurich; Fondation Cartier, Paris; Sao Paulo Bienal; Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, Gwangju Biennale; Impulstanz Festival, Vienna; Manchester International Festival; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Kanal Pompidou, Brussels; Festival d’Automne, Paris; The Kitchen, New York; The Barbican Centre, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Tanz im August, Berlin; Documenta - Parliament of Bodies, Kassel; MoMA, New York; Festival d’Avignon; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Stedelijk Museum and Holland Festival, Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou Metz; MoMA PS1, New York; Performa Biennial, New York; The New Museum, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, among others. In 2023 Harrell has been invited to create a work for the prestigious Cour d’honneur for the 77th edition of Festival d’Avignon. Later that year, Festival d’Automne in Paris dedicated a portrait to Harrell, presenting nine of his works in Paris.

Currently, Harrell is one of the house directors at The Schauspielhaus Zurich and the founding director of The Schauspielhaus Zurich Dance Ensemble.