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Digital programme: Porca Miseria

Choreographer Trajal Harrell dances against a pink background.

Discover more about the production and the creative team behind it in our digital programme.

Welcome to the Barbican Theatre for the bold return of American dancer/choreographer Trajal Harrell. We’re delighted to continue our journey with Trajal – we first saw his work, Antigone Sr., in France in 2014 and were totally swept up in the world of dance theatre he created. Discussions started about how we could give audiences in the UK the opportunity to experience his work. Our Art Gallery commissioned his first major performance exhibition in 2017, Hoochie Koochie. Eager to find a way to host him on our stage, we co-commissioned a brand-new show. We have shared this journey with several co-commissioners including Dance Umbrella, London’s international festival of contemporary dance with whom we have worked closely for many years, and our colleagues, Manchester International Festival, who are the lead producers of this trilogy.

For Porca Miseria, Trajal dives into cinema, dance, theatre, performance art, breaking the boundaries of what performance can be, inspired by three extraordinary women, real and fictitious, and performed by his terrific Zurich-based company. Accompanied by a gorgeous soundtrack, from opera to gospel to pop, we are invited to experience the fullness of life, from rituals of grief and mourning to celebrating in a joyful expression of self for the finale. Thank you for joining us, we hope you enjoy the show.

Toni Racklin, Barbican Head of Theatre & Dance



Presented by the Barbican

Produced by Manchester International Festival

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Schauspielhaus Zürich, ONASSIS STEGI, Kampnagel (Hamburg), Holland Festival, the Barbican and Dance Umbrella, NYU Skirball, Berliner Festspiele and The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi.

With special thanks to Zoe Hunn and Axel Satgé

The programme

Bookers of Trajal Harrell: Porca Miseria - Triple Bill

5.00pm or 6.15pm
Deathbed: 1 hr 15 mins

Interval (1-2 hrs)

O Medea (short film): 25 mins
Maggie the Cat: 1 hr

Please check your e-ticket for exact performance timings and entry points.

Bookers of Trajal Harrell: Porca Miseria - Double Bill

O Medea (short film): 25 mins
Maggie the Cat: 1 hr

Trajal Harrell and Maggie the Cat

Trajal Harrell, came to international visibility for his series Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church that combined postmodern dance, voguing and theatre, takes on Tennessee Williams’ play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. At the very least since the film adaption by Richard Brooks, it is a text that has entered into the collective white fantasy about the geohistorical phenomenon of the Southern States, perhaps only comparable to Gone with the Wind.  

In this third part of his trilogy Porca Miseria, Trajal Harrell completely inverts the perspective on this material. The focus is no longer on the decadent end of a feudal era and its rich plantation owners, but on the black servants whose point of view Harrell assumes. This is the starting point of Maggie the Cat, which then moves on to leave its template as far behind as possible.  

The servants are marginal figures in the play. Instead, Williams focuses on the white owners of a cotton plantation, and especially on the ‘cat’ Maggie and her husband Brick. It is, perhaps, precisely because it is missing the crucial perspective of African Americans, who are almost always present but barely speak, that Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a play about the South.   

Williams lets the South speak about love, fears and hatred – about resentment, jealousy and the tenderness of a privileged class, who naturally assumes that their lives deserve attention. However, it is only one half of this South that is permitted to speak in the play. In contrast to the invariably white protagonists, the African-American characters are given little dialogue and are used by Williams only for auxiliary tasks: they answer the phone, sing birthday songs, hand around items as needed. The very same group of people (and their ancestors) who produced Southern prosperity through cotton are so marginalised that their absence becomes an extremely present void. Harrell makes this the focus of Maggie the Cat.   

In Maggie the Cat’s narrative, the performers are servants who move through a space that is not theirs. Just like Williams’ work, Harrell’s evening is a chamber play in which the living space of the wealthy, with its trinkets, objects and fetishes, is no longer inhabited by the proprietors but by those who usually only set it up, keeping it clean and tidy. They have no right of residence in it. In Maggie the Cat, they appropriate and play with the everyday objects they find – towels, aprons, pillows, sheets – and invent unexpected usages for them. They turn the living room into an interior of light-spirited self-empowerment and redefine its use for themselves.   

It is a woman that opens the door to these new usages. To be precise, it is the imaginary figure of a woman: a woman who moves across this space freely and with pride, but is nonetheless an outsider. In Williams’ play, the eponymous Maggie is from a poor background. Even more than through their shared experience of economic scarcity, it is Maggie’s temperament and her understanding of relationships that create a connection between herself and the servants. Maggie ventured into this space with her explosive femininity, her reckless desire and her intelligence – and because she has come into this space before them, the servants need no longer dread it.  

On the one hand, the servants mimic Maggie as an obviously affluent woman who herself has had to learn her role. She has never lost the consciousness that even wealth is just a role, coincidental and replaceable by other roles.  

On the other hand, this cultural appropriation from below is not just a matter of class but also of race. Much more than social injustice or class, skin colour divides opinions and has become a minefield of aesthetics and discourse.   

Harrell takes the risk of applying his strategies of artistic appropriation and redefinition not only to class and gender but to race, which he considers as a further means of constructing identity – playfully and beyond the discursive trenches.  

To give an example of the superimposed layers of perception that filter through the evening, one could pick out the moment when the performers on stage transform a racist white practice into an aesthetic strategy. The act of brownfeeting in Maggie the Cat is not even an allusion to blackfacing but a new, delicate gesture, one that could hardly be more radical and leaves its traces not just on the ground. In Maggie the Cat, this is just a brief moment. It is not white performers who smear black paint onto their faces in order to racially discredit black people, but a diverse cast who gently dip their feet into different shades of brown in order to carefully tiptoe across the floor and leave little dabs of colour. It is a moment of silence, of waiting; unspectacular. It happens as if by the way – and not least because of this lightness, it has almost revolutionary potential.  

In the real world, all kinds of racism and discrimination require sharp opposition. But the fact that art allows for a space in which discriminating practices can be transformed into beauty creates the very space in which freedom and togetherness can be experienced. In Maggie the Cat, Harrell saturates this space with reality.   

Perhaps it is Harrell’s sense of humour that, again and again, transforms his aesthetic deconstructions into playful, undogmatic offers. He uses the stage and its potential for transformation to convert playful claims into political food for thought. But all the while, these suggestions remain casual, aesthetic, quiet. Until Maggie finally slips in. Into the little black dress of the affluent, white woman.   

By Katinka Deecke
Translated by Xenia Schürmann

A performer wearing an orange t-shirt and green trousers raises their arms above their head in a V shape as other people walk around them.

Performers and Creative Team


Trajal Harrell
Frances Chiaverini
Challenge Gumbodete
Josh Johnson
New Kyd
Christopher Matthews
Nasheeka Nedsreal
Perle Palombe
Dila Watten Raworth
Songhay Toldon
Ondrej Vildlar


O Medea
Trajal Harrell
Vânia Doutel Vaz
Maria Ferreira Silva
New Kyd
Ondrej Vidlar

Maggie the Cat
Stephanie Amurao
Helan Boyd Auerbach
Rob Fordeyn
Trajal Harrell
Christopher Matthews
Nasheeka Nedsreal
Perle Palombe
Songhay Toldon
Vânia Doutel Vaz
Ondrej Vidlar
Tiran Willemse


Creative team

Direction, Choreography, Costume Design & Sound Design Trajal Harrell
Set Design Erik Flatmo & Trajal Harrell
Lighting Design Stéfane Perraud
Director’s Assistant Lennart Boyd Schürmann
Dramaturgy Katinka Deecke, Sara Janswe & Debra Levine
Rehearsal Director Ondrej Vidlar

Production Manager Steve Wald
Costume Supervisor (Maggie The Cat) Sally Heard
Costume, Masks, Props (Deathbed) Judith Janser
Sound Melvyn Coote & James Claridge
Stage Manager Sunita Hinduja
Production Assistant (Deathbed) Camille Roduit
Artist Liaison Rachel Down

Factory International Artistic Director & Chief Executive John McGrath
Executive Producer Fiona Pride
Producer Emma Cameron

A group of performers wearing long black shawls with red and pink flowers on them move in a group


Stephanie Amurao – Performer
Stephanie Amurao was born in 1988 in Vancouver, Canada. She trained at the Richmond Academy of Dance and received her BFA from the Juilliard School in 2010. Beginning her professional career at Stadttheater Bern:Ballett in Switzerland under the direction of Cathy Marston, Stephanie then joined the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel in 2012. She became a member of Benjamin Millepieds, LA Dance Project, where she was part of creations by choreographers such as Justin Peck, Millepied, Roy Assaf, and performed works by William Forsythe, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Martha Graham, to name a few. She has also collaborated on many diverse film projects and site specific pieces such as Modern Living created by Ryan Kelly and Brennan Gerard. Since 2017, Stephanie resides in Berlin as a freelance artist for Sidi Larbi Cherakouis company, Eastman; Noé Soulier, choreographer and the director of CNDC Angers; visual artist Rachel Monosov; creators Gerard & Kelly, and choreographer Trajal Harrell. Stephanie is a founding member of the Berlin based teaching collective entitled Mo.Ré.

Helan Boyd Auerbach / Dila Watten Raworth – Performer
Helan Boyd Auerbach - born in Belgium in 1982 – is said to be a person who dances or whose profession is dancing. She thought he would become a ballet dancer. In between institutional walls, a passer-by. A passers by.

Lennart Boyd Schürmann – Director’s Assistant
Lennart Boyd Schürmann - born in 1994 in London - is a theatre maker, author, and researcher. In his artistic practice he develops spatial compositions of historical constellations in search of articulations for aporias inscribed in the modern project. Together with Moritz Nebenführ he has set up BRUCH, a research and production framework operating in the fields of theatre, fine arts, and academia. Their next piece, ARS MORIENDI (WT), will premiere in January 2024 at Theater Neumarkt, Zürich. He has accompanied the work of Trajal Harrell since 2016.

Frances ChiaveriniPerformer
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Frances Chiaverini (Juilliard, BFA 2003) is a Performer, Activist, and Director.  She was a member of the Forsythe Company in its final seasons and a Resident Fellow at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, 2019-2020. With Robyn Doty as Whistle, Frances is co-directing a social justice curriculum for dance artists titled Disrupting Harm in Dance: How to feel safe, connected, and empowered supported by the m2ACT Migros-Kulturprozent. Her work uses interactive performance and cyber engagement to discuss ideas of objectivity, reproductive justice, valuation, and the politics of formalized dance aesthetics. She has worked with Adam Linder in the US and UK, and was a choreographic consultant for Anne Imhof for works at Palais de Tokyo, Tate Modern, the Venice Biennale, MoMa PS. 1, Pompidou, Hamburger Bahnhof, Art Basel, and La Biennale de Montréal. Frances appeared on the cover of Dance Magazines 25 to Watch” in 2013. She is currently working with Trajal Harrell at Schauspielhaus Zürich.

Katinka Deeke – Dramaturg
Katinka Deecke is a German dramaturg. After a dance education, she studied French literature and theatre in Paris. Following this she went for a master’s to the theatre department of Professor Dr Hans-Thies Lehmann at the University of Frankfurt. In 2010, she moved to Berlin to be responsible for the production of the international art project 80*81 by Georg Diez and Christopher Roth. From 2012 to 2015, she worked at the opera in Bremen in northern Germany where she accounted for trans-disciplinary projects between opera, theatre, and dance. She also took in charge the acquisition of third-party funds and collaborated as an opera dramaturg with Anna-Sophie Mahler, Benedikt von Peter, Gintersdorfer/Klaßen, Schorsch Kamerun, and Robert Lehniger. Together with Matthias Lilienthal in 2015 she went to the Münchner Kammerspiele where she worked as a dramaturg with Christopher Rüping, Amir Reza Koohestani, Lola Arias, David Marton, and Trajal Harrell. In the same function she joined the first Ruhrtriennale by Stefanie Carp. In 2019, she moved to Zürich to become the head of dramaturgy of the new Schauspielhaus Zürich under Nicolas Stemann and Benjamin von Blomberg.

nia Doutel Vaz – Performer
Vânia Doutel Vaz - a Portuguese-born Angolan - studied dance with Royal Academy of Dance, Escola de Dança do Conservatório Nacional, and Fórum Dança. Vânia has been a member of Nederlands Dans Theater, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, PUNCHDRUNK (et al); has been in collaborations with Trajal Harrell, Tânia Carvalho, Shannon Gillen, Adam Linder (et al); directed and assisted movement with theater groups such as Teatro Griot, Teatro Praga (et al); created and performed O Elefante No Meio Da Sala (2022, PT/FR), ad aeternum (2020, PT), Bureauc'Art (2019, BE), and THEIR (2015, USA).

Maria Ferreira Silva – Performer
Maria Ferreira Silva - born in 1988 in Lisbon - started her artistic journey at the age of six, performing at the local auditorium in the suburbs of Lisbon. In 2006 she graduated from her classical, modern, tap, and folk dance training at the National Conservatory of Lisbon, followed by studies at the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios – P.A.R.T.S. (2006-2010) in Brussels, with the support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Her trajectory as a freelance performer has been crafted through the works of Willi Dorner, Daniel Linehan, Georgia Vardarou, Radouan Mriziga, Marco Torrice, Anneleen Keppens, Renan Martins de Oliveira, Benjamin Vandewalle, Maud le Pladec, and the visual artists Sarah & Charles. Her first time working with Trajal Harrell is in O Medea (2019) - part of his big trilogy Porca Miseria. Most recently, she is dancing with him in The Köln Concert, a production for which she becomes a guest performer at Schauspielhaus Zürich. Alongside performing, she is a guest teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (BE), works as choreography assistant, and leads an artistic research project that investigates plasticity and interconnectivity in movement. Parallel to dance, she attends the Feldenkrais Method training program and occasionally works with costumes and textiles.

Erik Flatmo – Set Design
Erik Flatmo’s work with Trajal Harrell began in New York City over a decade ago. Their collaborations include multiple international premieres, residencies, and touring productions. Erik's designs for plays, operas and other performance projects have appeared on many important stages within the United States and Europe. He taught scenery design at Stanford University for the past fifteen years and will be spending the upcoming year in Milan, Italy.

Rob FordeynPerformer
Rob Fordeyn - born 1983 in Gent, Belgium - trained at the Royal Ballet school of Antwerp and began his career at the Royal Ballet of Flanders. William Forsythe noticed him there and invited him to collaborate in some of his performances and installations. In 2008, he returned to ballet for a short time at the Opéra of Lyon. Since 2009 Rob dances as a freelancer with a.o., Trajal Harrell, Arco Renz, Marc Van Runxt, Lisbeth Gruwez, Claudia Castelluci, Jean Luc Ducourt, and Benny Claaesens among others. Between 2015 and 2017, he joined the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company direct by Jacopo Godani. Rob Fordeyn has also been active as a maker himself in a variety of disciplines, from dance pieces to theater work to opera, such as Tragic by accident (Monty), Drama chaos confusion and Madness (Dresden Frankfurt dance Company), Afterwork (Schauspielhaus Bochum), It's Going to get worse (Gorki), and Antikrist (Deutsche Oper).

Challenge Gumbodete – Performer
Dancer and performer Challenge Gumbodete was born in Shurugwi, Zimbabwe and currently lives in Zürich. He studied at the National Ballet of Zimbabwe (Dance Foundation Course led by Marie-Laure Soukaina Edom), at the Ballet Theatre Afrikan with Martin Schonberg in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Danceworks Berlin. During the last few years, Challenge was engaged at various German-speaking and international theatres, as a guest-dancer/performer among others at: Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble, Oper Frankfurt, Staatsoper Berlin, Oper Köln, Deutsches Theater Göttingen, Staatstheater Kassel, Semperoper Dresden, and at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt. Next to his collaborations with choreographers/directors like: Trajal Harrell, Barish Karademir, Robyn Orlin, Benny Claessens, Michael Laub/Remote Control Productions, Yana Thönnes/THE AGENCY, Rob Fordeyn, Billinger & Schulz, Tomi Paasonen, Ayman Harper, Athol Farmer, Rhys Martin, Michael Barry, Ben J Riepe, Martin Stiefermann, Michael Langeneckert, and Lucia Glass. Since August 2022 Challenge is engaged in the ensemble at Theatre Neumarkt Zürich. He takes part in national and international Cinema productions and TV series, recently he appeared in Berlin I Love You (directed by Daniel Lwowski) and the German TV-series Babylon Berlin (directed by Tom Tykwer).

Trajal Harrell – Direction, Choregraphy, Costume Design & Sound Design
American choreographer and dancer Trajal Harrell is one of the most important choreographers of his generation. He rose to fame thanks to a series of works in which he combined a speculative view of history and canon with the idiom of post-modern dance, augmented with multiple elements from contemporary pop culture. For instance, he immersed himself in postmodern dance history and the voguing ballroom scene. In 2016 Harrell completed an Annenberg Residency at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art in New York), where he focused on the work of the Japanese founder of Butoh dance, Tatsumi Hijikata. In 2018, Harrell was named Dancer of the Yearby the renowned German magazine Tanz. He subsequently created the introspective performance entitled Dancer of the Year in which he reflects on what winning this kind of award means, and what exactly his role is as a dancer and a choreographer working on the intersection between various styles and cultures.

Trajal Harrell has recently performed and had his work presented at Schauspielhaus Zürich (2023); Kunstenfestivaldesarts (2022); Romaeuropa Festival (2021); Kaai Theater, Brussels (2021); Fondation Cartier, Paris (2021); Sao Paulo Bienal (2021); Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (2021), Gwangju Biennale (2021); Impulstanz Festival, Vienna (2021). He lives and works in between Athens, Greece; Zürich, Switzerland; and Georgia, USA. Currently he is the founding director of the Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble.

Josh JohnsonPerformer
Josh Johnson studied dance in Los Angeles and New York. Before joining the ensemble of Schauspielhaus Zürich in 2019, he worked with the Forsythe Company, next to collaborations with artists like: Anne Imhof, Kandis Williams, and Patrick Belaga or brands like: Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton or Burberry. Together with Wu Tsang, Tosh Basco, Asma Maroof, Fred Moten, and others he is part of Moved by the Motion.

New Kyd – Performer
Titilayo Adebayo who goes by the alias New Kyd (they/she/layo) is a non-binary dance artist and performer of Nigerian descent. In 2019, they moved from London to Zürich to join the ensemble of Schauspielhaus Zürich where they perform regularly with Trajal Harrell’s touring and dance company, and Wu Tsang (Moved by the Motion). New Kyd’s practice attempts to seek ways to not conform while still maintaining focus on dance, movement, language, expression and emergence. Emerging from where? Emerging towards what? Who knows? Does it matter? They aim to bring a holistic approach to creating and experiencing performance, visual and experiential art. Making performance with everyday objects and treating the body as a canvas.

Christopher Matthews – Performer
Christopher Matthews is an American-born choreographer and performance artist working from London. He holds a BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and an MA in Choreography from Trinity Laban. His video and performance works have been presented in Sadler’s Wells, Art Night 2018, Victoria & Albert Museum, Enclave Gallery, Arbyte Gallery, ]performance space[, LimaZulu, And what? queer Art(ist) Now 4BID Gallery (Amsterdam), Mount Florida Gallery (Glasgow), Castlefield Gallery (Manchester), Millennium (NYC) Reykjavik Dance Festival, Cent Quatre (Paris), MCLA Gallery 51 (Mass) Villa Empain (Brussels) and Loop Video Art Festival (Barcelona), Prismn Contemporary (Blackburn), Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival (Greece), and Matthews was a judge and contemporary choreographer on the popular Angolan dance reality series Bounce. He has been a featured contestant on various reality shows in the USA and UK. He has choreographed and directed music videos for Erickatoure Aviance and Angolan artist Coreon Du. As a performer, Matthews has worked with Trajal Harrell, Jeremy Shawn, Janine Harrington, Paula Roselen, Laura Peterson, Xavier Le Roy, Simone Forti, and Konstantinos Uralsky.

Nasheeka Nedsreal – Performer
Nasheeka Nedsreal - born in Baton Rouge in 1990 - is a Berlin-based dancer and choreographer. Working with music and video collage, her work explores identity, ritual, futurism, and improvisation. In 2018, Nedsreal began working with choreographer Trajal Harrell and is currently a guest dancer at the Schauspielhaus Zürich.

Perle Palombe – Performer
Perle Palombe is an actress who trained at the Théâtre National de Strasbourg. She has been working in France recently with Gwenaël Morin, Hubert Colas, Mirabelle Rousseau, Yves Noel Genod. She also works in Zürich as a member of the Schauspielhaus Ensemble (which she joined in 2019) with Wu Tsang and Yana Ross. She met Trajal Harrell in 2010 and danced in several of his shows such as Caen Amour (Avignon Festival 2016), Maggie the Cat (MIF Manchester 2019), Séance de Travail (Schauspielhaus Bochum 2018), as well as in performance exhibitions such as at the Barbican in London in Hoochie Koochie in 2017. Next year she will be at the TNS with Hubert Colas in Superstructure - a text by Sonia Chiambretto, as well as at the Schauspielhaus in Zürich in various creations of Trajal Harrell.

Stéfane Perraud – Lighting Design
Stéfane Perraud was born in 1975. He lives and works in Paris. He graduated from LesArts Décoratifs de Paris and obtained a post-diploma in interactive research in 2001. His area of research deals with light’s energy and substance; he works regularly with writers and scientists. His work opens a dialogue, fictional at times, with the almost invisible and the “inframince” (aesthetic concept created by Marcel Duchamp to express an imperceptible phenomenon, or a difference so slight that it can only be imagined), in the perspective of the linking human soul and activities, with the intimacy of the matter. His tools and preferred formats are hybrids, as he digs into new media, sciences, and advanced technology. He has presented solo shows in and out of France, in venues like Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Musée de la Chasse, Galerie de Roussan in Paris, WE project and Maison Particulière in Bruxelles, Art Center of Manoa in Hawaii, Chambre Blanche in Québec, and many group shows and art fairs like: YiA Art Fair, Drawing Now, Vokta Basel, and Art Paris, Choices. For many years, he has been collaborating and creating light design with live art artists such as: Trajal Harell, Eli Commins, Ali Moini - for work presented at Avignon Festival, Festival d’Automne in Paris, MoMA and American Realness in New York, Impulz Tanz in Vienna, and Festspiel in Berlin. He was selected for a residency at the prestigious Collège de France, in the frame of OpenLab in 2011, and obtained a grant in Pictanovo in 2013 for an art and science project on the subject of nuclear energy. On this nuclear theme he is prepared an exhibition at Lieu Unique (France) for 2020, and was awarded the European grant Vertigo for developing a project L’autre nature de la lumière (the other nature of light), that was presented in Malta in 2020. He is represented by Bipolar, Bossa Talent and Barter.

Camille Charlotte Roduit – Production Assistant
Camille Charlotte Roduit studied film studies and modern French at the University of Lausanne. In 2015, she left Switzerland and moved to Berlin, where she completed her master’s at the Humboldt University. There she discovered the world of theatre and began working as an assistant director for Iranian director and writer Pedro Kadivar, with whom she performed a play at the Maxim Gorki Theater as part of the queer festival Pugs in love,among other projects. She worked then as a freelance assistant director at various theaters in Berlin and Switzerland, including the play Bajazet by Frank Castorf, co-produced by the Théâtre de Vidy Lausanne, and the MC93 in Paris. From August 2020 to October 2021, she was permanent assistant director at the Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam.

Since the season 2021/2022, she is production assistant at the Schauspielhaus Zürich, where she works mainly with Trajal Harrell.

Songhay Toldon – Performer
Songhay Toldon - born in Vienna in 1989 - studied dance at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, where he specialised mainly in contemporary and urban dance. He works as a dancer, actor, and model. A few years ago he met Trajal Harrell, with whom he has been working ever since.

Songhay is currently a member of the Schauspielhaus Zürich Ensemble.

Tiran Willemse – Performer
Tiran Willemse is a dancer and choreographer from South-Africa currently based in Zürich and Berlin. His performance based practice is rooted in a careful attention to space, imagination, gesture, and sound, focusing on how they relate to the ways in which construction of race and gender are performed, communicated, and challenged. He studied at P.A.R.T.S. training and research studios in Brussels and at Hochschule der Künste Bern (master expanded theater). He has worked and collaborated with Trajal Harrell, Meg Stuart, Jerome Bel, Ligia Lewis, Eszter Salamon, Andros Zins-Browne, Kat Valaster and with Cullberg Ballet under Deborah Hay and Jeftha Van Dither. His work has been shown in Arsenic, Impulstanz, Tanzquartier Wien, Gessnerallee, Sophiensaele, Palais de Tokyo, MCBA in Lausanne, and continues to tour internationally.

Ondrej Vidlar – Performer
Ondrej Vidlar, born in the Czech Republic, was trained in Latin, modern and contemporary dance. He graduated from the Belgian school of Performing Arts - P.A.R.T.S. in 2008. He was based for many years in Brussels and worked as a freelance dancer, performer, and production manager in numerous international projects. For many years he has been working in close collaboration with Trajal Harrell as a dancer, choreography assistant, and rehearsal director. It is also with whom he came to Zürich in 2019 to join Schauspielhaus Zürich as a full time employee and also as a member of the Schauspielhaus Zürich Dance Ensemble.

Factory International - Producer
Factory International is the organisation behind both Manchester International Festival (MIF), and the landmark new space which will open in 2023, creating a global destination for arts music and culture in the heart of Manchester. Factory International will commission and present a year-round programme of original creative work, music and special events at its new venue, online, and internationally through its network of co-commissioners and partners. It will also stage the city-wide Manchester International Festival every other year at its new home and in spaces and venues across Greater Manchester.

Factory International builds on the legacy of Manchester International Festival, one of the world’s leading arts festivals, and the first to be entirely focused on the commissioning and producing of ambitious new work.  Staged every two years in Manchester since 2007, MIF has commissioned, produced and presented world premieres by artists including Marina Abramović, Damon Albarn, Laurie Anderson, Björk, Boris Charmatz, Jeremy Deller, Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, Elbow, Tracey Emin, Akram Khan, David Lynch, Ibrahim Mahama, Wayne McGregor, Steve McQueen, Marta Minujín, Cillian Murphy, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Yoko Ono, Thomas Ostermeier, Maxine Peake, Punchdrunk, Skepta, Christine Sun Kim, The xx, and Robert Wilson.

These and other world-renowned artists from different art forms and backgrounds create dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking new work reflecting the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture, staged across Greater Manchester – from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks. Working closely with cultural organisations globally, whose financial and creative input helps to make many of these projects possible, much of the work made at MIF also goes on to travel the world, reaching an audience of 1.6 million people in more than 30 countries to date.

MIF23 takes place 29 June to 16 July 2023, opening with You, Me and the Balloons a major exhibition at Factory International’s new cultural space, celebrating three decades of Yayoi Kusama’s spectacular inflatable sculptures, shown together for the first time.

A performer dances while wrapped in a red and blue cloth

For the Barbican

Barbican Centre Board 
Tom Sleigh 
Deputy Chair 
Sir William Anthony Bowater Russell 
Deputy Chair 
Tobi Ruth Adebekun 

Board Members 
Munsur Ali, Randall Anderson, Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, Stephen Bediako, Farmida Bi, Tijs Broeke, Zulum Elumogo, Charles Edward Lord, Wendy Mead, Mark Page, Alpa Raja, Jens Riegelsberger, Jane Roscoe, Despina Tsatsas, Irem Yerdelen 

Clerk to the Board 
Ben Dunleavy 

Barbican Centre Trust 
Farmida Bi CBE 
Vice Chair 
Robert Glick OBE 

Tom Bloxham MBE, Stephanie Camu, Tony Chambers, Cas Donald, Robert Glick OBE, David Kapur, Ann Kenrick, Kendall Langford, Sir William Anthony Bowater Russell, Tom Sleigh, Claire Spencer AM, Sian Westerman 

Chief Executive Officer 
Claire Spencer 
Artistic Director 
Will Gompertz 
Director of Operations and Buildings 
Jonathon Poyner 
Director of Development 
Natasha Harris 
Director of People, Inclusion and Culture 
Ali Mirza 
Head of Finance & Business Administration 
Sarah Wall 
Senior Executive Assistant to Claire Spencer and Will Gompertz 
Jo Daly 

Theatre Department 
Head of Theatre and Dance 
Toni Racklin 
Senior Production Manager 
Simon Bourne 
Liz Eddy, Jill Shelley, Fiona Stewart 
Assistant Producers 
Anna Dominian, Saxon Mudge, Mali Siloko 
Production Managers 
Jamie Maisey, Lee Tasker 
Technical Managers 
Steve Daly, Jane Dickerson, Nik Kennedy, Martin Morgan, Stevie Porter 
Stage Managers 
Lucinda Hamlin, Charlotte Oliver 
Technical Supervisors 
James Breedon, John Gilroy, Jamie Massey, Adam Parrott, Lawrence Sills, Chris Wilby 
PA to Head of Theatre 
David Green 
Production Administrator 
Caroline Hall 
Production Assistant 
Andrew Pellett 
Eleanor Foster, Kendell Foster, Burcham Johnson, Bartek Kuta, Christian Lyons, Josh Massey, Matt Nelson 
Stage Door 
Julian Fox, aLbi Gravener 

Creative Collaboration and Learning 
Head of Creative Collaboration 
Karena Johnson 
Senior Producer 
Lauren Monaghan-Pisano 
Lauren Brown 
Assistant Producer 
Rikky Onefeli 

Marketing Department 
Acting Head of Marketing 
Ben Jefferies 
Marketing Manager 
Kyle Bradshaw 
Marketing Assistant 
Rebecca Moore 

Communications Department 
Head of Communications 
James Tringham 
Senior Communications Manager 
Ariane Oiticica 
Communications Manager 
Communications Assistant 
Sumayyah Sheikh 

Audience Experience 
Deputy Head of Audience Experience & Operations 
Sheree Miller 
Ticket Sales Managers 
Lucy Allen, Oliver Robinson, Ben Skinner, Jane Thomas 
Operations Managers 
Seán Carter, Richard Long, Rob Norris, Elizabeth Davies-Sadd, Samantha Teatheredge 
Operations Manager (Health & Safety) 
Mo Reideman 
Audience Event & Planning Manager 
Freda Pouflis 
Venue Managers 
Scott Davies, Tilly Devine, Gary Hunt, Nicola Lake, Tabitha Goble Assistant 
Venue Managers 
Suman Cheema, Giovana Lorensatto, Maria Pateli 
Crew Management 
Dave Magwood, Rob Magwood, James Towell 
Access and Licensing Manager 
Rebecca Oliver 
Security Operations Manager 
James Cocklin 

With thanks

The Barbican sparks creative possibilities and transformation for artists, audiences and communities – to inspire, connect, and provoke debate. 

As a not-for-profit, we need to raise two thirds of our income through fundraising, ticket sales, and commercial activities. With the help of our generous supporters, we are able to share the work of some of the most inspiring and visionary artists and creatives, enabling the widest possible audience to experience the joy of the arts. 

There are many ways you can support the Barbican, including by making a donation, joining our programme as a sponsor, or becoming a Member. To find out more and join our community, please visit or contact [email protected] 

With thanks... 

Founder and principal funder 
The City of London Corporation

Major Supporters 
Arts Council England 
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) 
SHM Foundation 
The Terra Foundation for American Art 

Leading Supporters 
Lonti Ebers 
Trevor Fenwick and Jane Hindley 
Marcus Margulies 

Programme Supporters 
Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (Spirit Now London) 
Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery 
Sayeh Ghanbari 
Elizabeth and J Jeffry Louis 
Pat and Pierre Maugüé 
The Clare McKeon Charitable Trust 
Hugh Monk 
Romilly Walton Masters Award 
The Rudge Shipley Charitable Trust 

Director’s Circle 
Anonymous (1) 
Farmida Bi 
Tom and Jo Bloxham MBE 
Philippe and Stephanie Camu 
Cas Donald 
Alex and Elena Gerko 
Trevor Fenwick and Jane Hindley 
Ruth and Stuart Lipton 
Tracey, Eloise and Max Mayerson 
Natrium Capital Limited 
Sian and Matthew Westerman 


Corporate Supporters 
Bank of America 
Bolt Burdon Kemp 
Google Arts & Culture 
Linklaters LLP 
Norton Rose Fulbright 
Osborne Clarke 
Pinsent Masons 
Slaughter and May 

Trusts & Grantmakers 
Art Fund 
Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne 
The Austin and Hope Pilkington Charitable Trust 
Bagri Foundation 
CHK Foundation 
Cockayne – Grants for the Arts 
John S Cohen Foundation 
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands 
Goethe-Institut London 
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation 
Italian Cultural Institute in London 
Korean Cultural Centre UK 
Kusuma Trust UK 
London Community Foundation 
Mactaggart Third Fund 
The Polonsky Foundation 
Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation 
Swiss Cultural Fund 

We also want to thank the Barbican Patrons, Members, and the many thousands who made a donation when purchasing tickets or at the Centre. 

The Barbican Centre Trust, registered charity no. 294282