Claire Cunningham

Give Me A Reason To Live
Small Stage
02.10.2017 – 03.10.2017
Claire Cunningham steht mit ausgestreckten Armen und Krücken in den Händen auf einer spärlich beleuchteten Bühne.

The apocalyptic depictions in the worlds of Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch feature the recurring theme of disabled persons as beggars. Choreographer Claire Cunningham uses these paintings as a starting point for an empathic reflexion on the depicted connection of sin and physical difference as well as the accompanying religious, ethical and political convictions. With her solo in which she exposes her own body to a ruthless gaze as well as to physical strain, she also questions our contemporary perception of others and of being different. This work of generous, yet brutal immediacy demands us to rethink our own empathy, sympathy or indifference. Behind this lies the theory that a society on the verge of mounting insecurity – as it was in Bosch’s time – turns against those they perceive to be the weakest. So, the choreographer dedicates her solo to the victims of National Socialist euthanasia programmes as well as to those who are subject to today’s welfare cuts and the discriminating effects of British social reform. Claire Cunningham’s distinct language of movement meets the hypnotising strains of sound artist Zoë Irvine, culminating in the recital of a Bach cantata.

Glasgow-born choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham sees her art also as activism and developed her own dance style on crutches out of her specific physicality. Claire Cunningham, alongside Ligia Lewis and Choy Ka Fai, is one of the three new Factory Artists at tanzhaus nrw.

“Claire Cunningham has developed her very own, poetic style. She uses crutches to float above ground, she fights them and lets them carry her.” Anna Pataczek, rbb 24, August 19th, 2016

Duration: 45 min.

Accompanying Programme
Sun 01.10 10:00 – 13:00 Workshop with Claire Cunningham
Tue 03.10. discussion afterwards


Choreography, Performance: Claire Cunningham; Light Design: Karsten Tinapp; Sound Design: Zoë Irvine; Cello: Matthias Herrmann; Additional Music: Jean Mouton »Nesciens Mater«, J.S. Bach »Den Tod«; Costume: Shanti Freed; Mentoring: Kristin De Groot, Janice Parker; Management, Technician: Gregor Knüppel; Production: Nadja Dias; Assistance: Sheena Khanna.
A production by Claire Cunningham, funded by the Bosch 500 Foundation, Dance Umbrella, Comune di Bassano del Grappa, La Briqueterie, D.ID Dance Identity, Festival CEMENT, Dansateliers Rotterdam, The Work Room, and Dance House.