Barbican, London
The punk perfectionist’s homage to Satie, Patti Smith and Bowie packs in a range of moods from enigmatic mournfulness to stomping, dadaist revolution

Michael Clark has never quite lost his reputation as the wild child of dance. The bare-arsed campery and post-punk music that made him a cult of the 1980s still cling to his image.

But as a choreographer he’s always been a perfectionist, and even at his most superficially deviant it’s always been the small details – the quixotic angling of the head, the strict placing of the feet, the contrapuntal torsion through the body – that have created the backbone of his style.

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Source: Guardian Dance News


From his 80s ballet-punk aesthetic to the heroin and despair of the 90s, Michael Clark always danced to his own tune. Now 54, here he talks about the effects of ageing, his mum and the inspiration of Bowie

We are sitting beneath a huge window in the corner of Michael Clark’s east London rehearsal space, amid exercise balls, yoga mats and discarded trainers, and as the late-summer light fades, our conversation turns to David Bowie, whose music has been a constant throughout the dancer’s life.

“I was so shocked by his death, really shocked,” says Clark, quietly. “I kept thinking of that moment when he put his arm around Mick Ronson [Bowie’s guitarist] on Top of the Pops all those years ago in the 70s and how it triggered this huge sense of relief in me as a boy. It was the only physical contact I had seen men do apart from punching each other. It seems ridiculous now that a small gesture like that could be so meaningful, but, for me, it was. It planted in me the idea that there was another way.”

With Michael, the fragility and the perfectionism go together; you can’t separate one from the other

I have to remember that what is happening is exactly what I wanted to happen… It’s an amazing life I have, really

I miss the old, wild days of squatting, dole money and freedom, but they’re gone … no regrets

Related: Michael Clark Company | Dance review

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Source: Guardian Dance News


He reimagined live rock performance and taught David Bowie and Kate Bush the art of movement. Ahead of his first event in Britain for 15 years, Lindsay Kemp talks about his incredible life

“Have you got enough material for your article?” asks Lindsay Kemp, making an innocuous pleasantry sound somehow louche and debauched – one of his many skills. We have spent a long and relentlessly entertaining day together in his seaside apartment in Italy, and I think of the many asides he has sprinkled into our conversation that I want to return to: how he learned to draw alongside David Hockney at Bradford Art College; the time he was taken by Marcel Marceau to buy shirts at Turnbull & Asser and the legendary mime put half the shop on a tab that he never paid; when Federico Fellini wanted to cast him in his 1976 film Fellini’s Casanova, but Kemp disappeared and couldn’t be tracked down. “His casting director said I was the only actor that ever let Fellini down,” says the 77-year-old Kemp, in passing, before flitting on to another episode from his extraordinary, topsy-turvy life.

So, what have we talked about? Well, David Bowie, obviously. Kemp and Bowie were lovers (briefly) and artistic collaborators (more enduringly) in the 1960s and 70s. He is often hailed as the man who taught Bowie how to move and express himself – as well as Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Mia Farrow – and their work together on Ziggy Stardust fundamentally reimagined the way rock music was performed live. Then there’s his improbable background: a child from a poor one-parent family in South Shields on Tyneside who went from doing kitsch turns in working men’s clubs to become an internationally feted classical dancer. And how this acclaim has often been more rapturous abroad than in Britain, and why that should be.

They didn’t really like arty types in England, certainly not when I was growing up in the 1950s

I spent my money on my productions. We never had subsidies: it went on costumes, scenery and cocaine

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Source: Guardian Dance News