Michael Clark began his training at the Royal Ballet School, reaching artistic maturity during the post-punk scene of the 1980s. From there he navigated through the London sub-culture and placed his post-modern ballet reduction in an artistic cosmos - biting social criticism working with subversive humour, stark flaws and intellectual edge. Clark’s development continued backwards from post-punk to modernism to neo-Classicism.
'Animal / Vegetable / Mineral' featured lighting design from Charles Atlas, costumes by Stevie Stewart and songs by Scritti Politti, the Sex Pistols, Pulp and Jarvis Cocker’s project Relaxed Muscle. The anarchic wit of neo-classical punk was used to create a visually arresting dance experience.
Avant-garde fashion, pop music and visual art.
Hailed as “British dance’s true iconoclast”, Michael Clark is a defining cultural figure. Since emerging in the 1980s as a prodigy at London’s Royal Ballet School, he has remained at the forefront of innovation in dance, collaborating with – among others – such compelling artists as Sarah Lucas, Leigh Bowery, Peter Doig and Charles Atlas, and musicians Mark E. Smith, Wire, Scritti Politti and Relaxed Muscle.
From the outset, Michael’s performances have been marked by a mixture of technical rigour and experimentation, intense and fine-tuned choreography intersecting with elements of punk, Dada, pop and rock. His productions repeatedly break new ground, provoking and electrifying audiences. As The Guardian noted of a recent performance at the Barbican, London: “throughout the evening, the dancers’ prodigious command and affectless efficiency make them look superhuman.”
Michael Clark founded his own company in 1984. It has since toured worldwide to perform at leading houses in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, as well as on its home stage at the Barbican, where it has been a resident company since 2005. Michael Clark Company has also introduced dance to new audiences both by performing at unorthodox venues including the legendary Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London and in the Whitney Biennial 2012 in New York where the company occupied an entire floor for four weeks, and through Clark’s collaborations with leading artists, fashion designers and musicians.