The exhibition delves into the process of Michael Clark’s collaborations with artists, designers, musicians and performers, giving an extraordinary insight into one of Scotland’s most remarkable creative minds. Clark is a pioneer, bringing different disciplines together to create his singular vision, considering every detail from costumes and music through to graphic design.
Clark’s collaborators range from Leigh Bowery to The Fall, from Sarah Lucas and Scottish painter Peter Doig to non-professional dancers. His musical influences are diverse, from his hero David Bowie to Patti Smith, T.Rex and composers Erik Satie and Igor Stravinsky, blending punk, ballet and popular culture to create a revolution in dance.
The exhibition is an immersive experience, celebrating Clark’s rebellious energy and innovative performances, exploring the creative energy and excitement of bringing together art, dance, design, fashion and music.
Michael Clark firmly believes that dance is for everyone and that there is a dancer in all of us. He was born in Aberdeen in 1962 and began traditional Scottish dancing at the age of four. In 1975, at the age of 13, he left home to study at the Royal Ballet School in London, before forming his own dance company in 1984 when he was only 22.
Clark’s choreography changed the landscape of British dance by weaving together drag performance, queer subculture and post-punk energy with the virtuosity and grace of his classical ballet training.
Sophie McKinlay, Director of Programme at V&A Dundee, said: “It is a hugely exciting moment to bring an exhibition about one of Scotland’s most daring and rebellious creative minds home to V&A Dundee.
“Michael Clark brought together a community of collaborators across art, dance, design, fashion, music and photography to create performances that have forever changed how people look at contemporary dance.”
“Clark is a true radical, a technically brilliant dancer and choreographer as well as a provocative artist whose work has challenged and shocked society’s expectations of gender and sexuality from the 1980s right up to the present day. His work with non-professional dancers, including at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom, only underlines his total commitment to opening dance up to everyone.”
The exhibition explores Clark’s approach to creating an immersive experience through costumes, props, sets, music and the interaction between performers and his audiences.
Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer runs from March 5 to September 4.