Type of work
Hailed by the Independent on Sunday as ‘British dance’s true iconoclast’, Michael Clark creates work that reflects his classical dance training and contemporary taste. He is renowned for his legendary collaborations with bands, fashion designers and visual artists including Wire, Leigh Bowery, and Sarah Lucas.
‘For almost twenty-five years Michael Clark has been redefining the nature and limits of contemporary dance. His perversely virtuoso and anarchic choreography and absurdist staging of his performances have radicalised dance’s relationship to itself and to its audience. Key to his work is openness to the possibilities offered by music and the visual arts……. Clark’s mix of rigorously controlled choreography and head-thumping, heart-pumping music is part of the way he works with the formal vocabulary of classical dance, reshaping it from without through an almost sensory bombardment, as well as from within the form of dance itself. His underlying approach is cacophonous, exploiting confusion, visual contamination and disruption. His work is also formally rigorous and masterful, suggesting a palpable handling of his medium in a way that goes beyond pure movement to encompass an expanded plasticity.’ Suzanne Cotter
The Barrowlands Project
‘Clark defies his own rigid constraints, and runs free once again.’ The Guardian
‘Each corner of this legendary space was carefully considered and beautifully used. While time and again, the ever-changing lighting and costume design took us somewhere new.’ The Scotsman
‘The Barrowlands Project is a homage to the space itself, to that dance floor which has felt the joy of countless numbers of ordinary people dancing under its iconic spotlights.’ Garage
‘…a tasty mix of cool-as-a-cucumber dance and hot tunes’ New York Post
‘…it is wonderful to encounter dance at the museum’ The Financial Times
‘… the tension between classical form and rock energy does not just fill the hall, it reverberates thrillingly against its walls.‘ The Guardian
‘…the best choreography from Clark in years’ The Independent on Sunday
‘As pure movement this is vintage Clark, but even better is his handling of the space.’ The Guardian
come, been and gone
‘…an outrageously gorgeous piece of modern dance.’ The Observer
‘…beautifully and inspiringly danced… unmissable.’ The Daily Telegraph
‘…guaranteed to send chills up your spine….The dancers are sensational.’ Independent on Sunday
‘Musically, it’s an extraordinary event, but choreographically it’s another landmark.’ The Guardian
‘The most creative dialogue ever between Clark’s classical and criminal alter-egos.’ The Guardian
‘Time and again the choreography delivers a controlling hypnotic spell until, like a whiplash, it awakens us to a vibrant reality’ The Times
‘You know you’ve witnessed something special on stage when 25 minutes whizz by with the speed of a lightning bolt and you sorely want to see it again, immediately.‘ The Daily Telegraph
For full tour list and booking details see here
The Barrowlands Project (2012)
As part of the 2012 celebrations in Scotland, Michael Clark Company created a landmark dance event for Glasgow over the final weekend of the London 2012 festival. Taking over the celebrated Glasgow Barrowlands, now a revered rock music venue and with a history as Glasgow’s premier dance hall, this performance project was specially created by Michael Clark. The Barrowlands Project invited local people to become performers in the choreography alongside company dancers, accentuatung the communal dance experience.
WHO’S ZOO? (2012)
From 14 March through 8 April, Michael Clark Company was in residence at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. During this time the fourth floor performance space was open to Biennial visitors for all or part of the day. Daily performances of WHO’S ZOO? were presented 29 March through 8 April.
Clark’s return to New York followed the company’s remarkable residency in Tate Modern’s immense Turbine Hall, developed over a two-year period. Here, in a four-week long residency as part of the Whitney Biennial, Clark once again engaged both professional dancers and untrained volunteers to generate choreography, in an attempt to expand what our experience of movement can be. This culminated in performances featuring lighting and video made in collaboration with Charles Atlas, with live music by Relaxed Muscle.
Created in response to the monumental architecture of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, th followed on from the company’s residency at the museum in 2010. This unique event provided an extraordinary opportunity for Tate Modern visitors to witness the artistic process behind Clark’s choreography. Using the first part of the project as an opportunity to explore and experiment, Michael Clark Company embedded this research into the new site-specific work.
Building on the success of the Company’s 2010 residency, the company once again invited members of the public to take part in a series of weekly workshops allowing non-professional dancers to become a part of the artistic creation and contribute to the final performances in 2011.
come, been and gone (2009)
Michael Clark Company’s critically acclaimed production come, been and gone is made primarily to the music of David Bowie. It also embraces the work of his key collaborators, Lou Reed and Brian Eno and touches on some of his influences, The Velvet Underground and Kraftwerk amongst others. Lighting design by Charles Atlas. Costume design by Stevie Stewart, Richard Torry and Michael Clark.
“Rock is my rock. It has been vital to me at a personal level; it has shaped me as an individual as well as an artist” Michael Clark.
The production premiered at Biennale di Venezia in June and continued to tour internationally throughout 2009 and 2010, including 2 runs at the Barbican, London.
Stravinsky Project 2005-2007
In 2007 Clark completed the Stravinsky Project, a three-year collaboration between choreographer Michael Clark and the Barbican, to produce a trilogy of works to seminal dance scores by Igor Stravinsky.
In 2005 Clark presented his work O, set to Stravinsky’s Apollo. The following year he presented an expanded version of his acclaimed Mmm… set to The Rite of Spring. Both works premiered at the Barbican Theatre and featured live performance of Stravinsky’s scores.
This ambitious project culminated in 2007 with a presentation of three works to three Stravinsky scores over one evening. O, Mmm…, and a new work entitled I Do, set to Les Noces, premiered at the Barbican Theatre and featured an expanded company of dancers.
This final installment of the three year project marked an exciting new musical collaboration between Michael Clark, conductor Jurjen Hempel, Britten Sinfonia and the New London Chamber Choir. Philip Moore and Andrew West returned to present the celebrated live performance of Stravinsky’s arrangement for piano duet for ‘The Rite of Spring’.
Michael Clark retained long- standing collaborators for the project. Costumes were designed by Stevie Stewart, of BodyMap fame, with original Mmm… costumes designed by Leigh Bowery. Lighting was designed by Clark’s long-term collaborator, innovative film director and video artist Charles Atlas.
The project received critical acclaim and toured nationally and internationally including performances in New York, Paris, and Seoul.
Oh My Goddess (2003)
The world premiere of Michael Clark’s Oh My Goddess was a huge critical success when it opened the 25th Anniversary Dance Umbrella festival in London in October 2003. It is a powerful and varied programme of 5 pieces, each sparkling with Clark’s wit and invention. From Erik Satie’s piano pieces to a diverse soundtrack including music by PJ Harvey, CAN, Human League and the Sex Pistols, Oh My Goddess shows Clark at the height of his imaginative powers.
With 8 dancers, lighting from long-term collaborator Charles Atlas, plus costumes by Stevie Stewart and Shelley Fox, Oh My Goddess is an explosion of flamboyant artistry and freeze frame precision.
Would, Should, Can, Did (2003)
Was an evening of willfully wild experimentation performed as part of the Only Connect series at the Barbican. Clark collaborated and performed with visual artists Sarah Lucas and Cerith Wyn Evans, musician and composer Susan Stenger and fashion designer Hussein Chalayan.
In 2003 Clark also created Satie Stud for William Trevitt of George Piper Dances and choreographed a solo for Mikhail Baryshnikov: Rattle Your Jewellery, which was expanded to nevertheless, caviar at the Barbican in February 2004.
Before and After: The Fall was Clark’s first European co-production, premiering at The Hebbel Theatre, Berlin in 2001 before touring the UK and Europe. It featured a revisiting of Clark’s earliest work alongside a major new collaboration with the visual artist Sarah Lucas.
Swamp (1986) was revived by Rambert Dance in Autumn in 2004 and by Michael Clark Company as part of come, been and gone in 2009.
For a full production chronology see Michael Clark Company’s” productions page”:http://www.michaelclarkcompany.com/productions.php
Michael Clark Company runs workshops led by Kate Coyne and Melissa Hetherington; two long term dancers with Michael Clark Company. Workshops are usually aimed at advanced or professional dancers with a strong classical ballet or contemporary technique. For more details see www.michaelclarkcompany.com
Michael Clark – Choreographer and Artistic Director
Jo Stendall- Producer
Charles McDonald- PR
Chloe Seddon – Administrative Manager
Patrick Shier- Administrative Assistant
Ellen van Schuylenburch – Special Projects and Artistic Documentation Officer
Size of company
Size of touring company varies, usually 12-20. Large scale performances and venues (500-2000)
c/o Barbican Centre
London EC2Y 8DS
Tel +44 (0)20 7382 7170
Fax +44 (0)20 7382 7377
Michael Clark Company, come, been and gone
Dancers: Oxana Panchenko and Clair Thomas
Photographer: Jake Walters