V&A event pays tribute to the “David Bowie of dance”


Scottish dancer and choreographer Michael Clark, dubbed the ‘David Bowie of dance’, stars in a new exhibition at the V&A Dundee.

The museum will host an exhibit spanning Clark’s 40-year career in the performing arts.

Born in Aberdeen, Clark has been an icon of post-punk performance art, creating transgressive dance pieces since the early 1980s.

Visitors see images of dancers. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Expressive dance images.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Expressive dance images. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

The CBE winner joined the Royal Ballet School in London aged just 13 and started his own eponymous dance company aged 22.

Clark’s work incorporates the aesthetics of post-punk, classical ballet, club culture and the visual arts.

Costume room detail from Leigh Bowery BodyMap Stevie Stewart.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Costume room detail from Leigh Bowery BodyMap Stevie Stewart. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Costume design displayed in the Leigh Bowery BodyMap Stevie Stewart Costume Room.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Costume design displayed in the Leigh Bowery BodyMap Stevie Stewart Costume Room. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
The exhibition continues in the Trojan The Fall Cerith Wyn Evans room.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
The exhibition continues in the Trojan The Fall Cerith Wyn Evans room. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

The new installation will feature key performances from Clark’s career, including Because We Must (1987) and I Am Curious, Orange (1988).

The exhibition is a multimedia project taking into account Clark’s work across dance, film, fashion, design and sculpture, as well as rare archival footage of Clark’s interviews and performances.

Throughout his career, Clark has collaborated with David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker, club kid artist Leigh Bowery, avant-garde filmmaker Peter Greenaway and Russian ballet icon Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The exhibition includes dance photographs.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
The exhibition includes dance photographs. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Staff wear hoodies for the Michael Clark exhibit.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Staff wear hoodies for the Michael Clark exhibit. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Artwork from the Michael Clark exhibition.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Artwork from the Michael Clark exhibition. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

The exhibition is organized by the Barbican, London, and will run from March 5 to September 4.

Students from Dundee and Angus College and Glasgow Clyde College will organize new dance workshops around the museum.

The workshops will be led by Matthew Hawkins and Dawn Hartley, former dancers of the Clark Dance Company.

Andi Brogan, a student dancer from Dundee and Angus College, dances next to the Charles Atlas multi-screen film installation.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Andi Brogan, a student dancer from Dundee and Angus College, dances next to the Charles Atlas multi-screen film installation. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Andi Brogan at the Michael Clark exhibition.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Andi Brogan at the Michael Clark exhibition. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

The exhibition is also organized in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland and will hold workshops for people living with or caring for those affected by the disease.

V&A Director Leonie Bell said: “Michael Clark remains hugely relevant today, defying convention and reflecting the energy of the world around him, with ideas about gender and sexuality explored in cutting-edge performances. the breath.

“To me, Michael Clark is the David Bowie of dance, an inventor who with grace and energy found new ways for all of us to enjoy and be inspired by dance.”

Visitors view exhibits in the Sarah Lucas Room.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Visitors view exhibits in the Sarah Lucas Room. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Works by Sarah Lucas.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Works by Sarah Lucas. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Dance photographs from the Michael Clark exhibition.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Dance photographs from the Michael Clark exhibition. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Digital displays in the Charles Atlas room.  Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Digital displays in the Charles Atlas room. Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

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[V&A event honours ‘the David Bowie of dance’]

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