Harald Beharie

Harald Beharie is a Norwegian-Jamaican performer and choreographer based in Oslo. By applying various formats and contexts, his practice looks into alternative modes of being, dancing and existing together while questioning notions of normativity. Harald holds an interest for the unpolished, the DIY and the vulnerability of being in a state of unknowing. Their choreographic practice unfolds in various constellations with other artists using dance as a medium for creating elusive spaces of ambivalence and fantasy, oscillating between deconstruction and construction, optimism and doubt, apathy and affect. Some of the leading interests in their work at the moment are dissecting known physical narratives and opening for a conscious naivety and playfulness while indulging into practice of the pathetic, collapsing, joyful, failing and persistent body. Harald focuses on being with local people, local ideas, and developing ideas with and within the community. 

His work has received nominations for the Norwegian Critics Association prize for the performances Shine Utopians with Louis Schou (2020) and the solo work Batty Bwoy (2022). Batty Bwoy also won the Hedda Award for Best Dance Performance in 2023. 

Harald’s work has been presented in museums, galleries, festivals and contexts including: MDT (Stockholm), Donaufestival (Krems), SPRING (Utrecht), Zodiak (Helsinki), Les Urbaines (Lausanne), ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival, Santarcangelo Festival (Santarcangelo di Romagna), Centrale Fies (Dro, Trient), Stavanger Kunstmuseum, Oktoberdans / BIT-teatergarasjen (Bergen), Dansens Hus (Oslo), Munch Museum (Oslo), Vigeland Museum (Oslo), Galleri Entrée (Bergen), Ravnedans (Kristiansand), Kunstnerforbundet (Oslo), Øyafestivalen (Oslo) and Trondheim Kunstmuseum.


Through a reappropriation of the Jamaican term “batty bwoy” (literally, “butt boy”), slang for a queer person, Harald Beharie’s solo twists and turns the myths of the queer body to invoke demonic sensitivities and charming cruelties, unfolding vulnerable possibilities in an interplay of consciousness and naivety. The horror and joy of Batty Bwoy, inherent to queer Blackness, is unmasked. Scrutinizing the absurdity of a queer monstrosity, the work articulates through the porosity of bodies and languages, their mouths swallowing and regurgitating the corporal fictions projected onto their skins. 

Batty Bwoy attacks and embraces sedimented narratives around the fear of the queer body as a perverse and deviant figure. The expression “batty bwoy” is used to evoke an ambivalent creature that exists in the threshold of the precarious body, liberated power, joy, and batty energy! The work has found inspiration in mythologies, disgusting stereotypes, fantasies of queer bodies and identities, homophobic dancehall lyrics, 70s Giallo films from Italy, resilient “gully queens,” and queer voices in Norway and Jamaica that have taken part in the artistic process of the project.