In a new film for Nowness, radical dancer and choreographer Michael Clark looks back on his life, practice and career
Last year, the first major exhibition dedicated to punk dance pioneer Michael Clark opened at the Barbican. The show, titled Cosmic Dancer, was one of the biggest retrospectives ever dedicated to a living choreographer, and featured three decades worth of film, photography and archive materials. It was a long-overdue tribute to Clark’s radical, virtuosic legacy – though it was unfortunately cut short when the UK entered its second, and then eventually third, coronavirus lockdown.
Nowness caught up with Clark in the months before the show’s closure, to hear more about his practice and career. The film, made in collaboration with the Barbican, sees the Scottish legend in conversation with one of his oldest friends and fellow choreographers, Les Child. The pair reminisce about their past collaborations, the 1980s, and Clark’s meteoric rise from traditional ballet dancer to avant-garde revolutionary. “A lot of people just thought I was putting my own life on stage,” he remembers. “There was an element of that. If I was in love with somebody, I’d try to get them involved in my work.”
Watch the conversation in full below.