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 Post subject: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 3:19 am 
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MICHAEL CLARK (UK)

WHAT: NEW WORK (WORLD PREMIERE)

WHEN: WED 1 – SAT 4 OCT

WHERE: SADLER’S WELLS

TICKETS: 020 7863 8000

‘Michael Clark is one
of the few legendary,
iconoclastic figures
of British dance’

The Financial Times, March 2003

click here for details


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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:55 am 
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Location: London UK
To this day Michael Clark is described as an enfant terrible, despite the fact that he’s now in his forties. He’s come a long ways since the days when we regarded him as a beautiful youth in a corset, but he’s no less watchable. These days though there is far more choreographic input and less of Clark’s desire to shock.

Oh My Goddess, his new programme at Sadlers Wells, is full of inventiveness and ideas. Appearance and design remains a major element and “Dreams” made a feature of dancers in identical black wigs with the cast all flicking back their long raven locks dead on the beat. “Oh my Goddess”, started with the cast in costumes resembling underwear before switching to frocks (the men too). Clark’s naughtiness emerged in some curious male leotards, all black but with strategically placed red slashes emphasising the crotch in front and the bum behind. In the final work, “Submishmash” the costumes looked a real rag bag mix of outfits with a sly nod to one of Clark’s earlier incarnations with one of the dancers wearing over his trousers a torn tartan kilt.

The music was, with one exception, a trawl of the pop scene of the past 30 years or so from T.Rex to the Sex Pistols: the decibel level only just below the pain threshold. “Satie Studs” was the only non-pop item with some of Erik Satie’s starker piano pieces played on four grand pianos at the back of the stage.

The actual choreography impressed. Clark has created a number of highly inventive images and uses his dancers competently, whether in groups, duos or solos. “Satie Studs” included a wonderfully humorous moment with a girl tying her limbs into knots on the floor and instead of extricating herself, two male dancers lift her from the floor like a piece of furniture, removing her from the stage. The dancers are all good, some outstandingly so, fast and fluid in a work like “Oh My Goddess” and slowing down to legato in “Satie Studs. On the occasions when Clark himself appeared you could feel that special ripple run through the audience that only the finest of artists provoke.

Michael Clark has been forced to re-invent himself over the years and his personal circumstances meant that he was at one time out of the frame completely. Now however, he is discovering another aspect of his talent – solid choreography without the sometimes outrageous gimmickry of the past.


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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:53 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Oh My Goddess
By Zoe Anderson for The Independent

Michael Clark has an eager audience. They cheer before the performance, murmur at the first sight of their hero, go happily wild at the end. This is the art/fashion crowd Clark brought to dance in the 1980s, still loyal despite the stops and starts of his erratic career.

That career has been much more focused lately. After a decade of comebacks and vanishing acts, Clark has been working consistently, taking commissions from the Ballet Boyz and Mikhail Baryshnikov, building up his own show.

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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 1:31 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Telegraph.

Quote:
It must be tough being loved as much as Michael Clark is by the dance world. Expectations of simultaneously satisfying the mosh pit and the Covent Garden aesthetes. Expectations of being more scandalously rock-modern and more angelically beautiful than anybody else.

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And from The Times.

Quote:
MICHAEL CLARK’S shows are more like parties than theatrical events. He invites his friends, throws caution to the wind and trusts that everyone around him will have a good time. Which most of us do, even if, like his new Dance Umbrella evening at Sadler’s Wells, there are longueurs.
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And the Guardian.

Quote:
Michael Clark has been making dance for 20 years, but he is showing no signs of making life easy for his critics. The notorious phase of his career - when his choreography had to compete with a stageful of gaudy extras and preposterous props - may be waning. But even though dancing is now closer to the heart of his work, Clark doesn't offer a straightforward package.
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<small>[ 03 October 2003, 03:35 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 11:10 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Michael Clark/Oh My Goddess
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times


Michael Clark is back. Or perhaps, as a sometimes vexed, sometimes bowled-over observer of his career, I should say that at last he is where he best belongs: on a serious stage, with wholly satisfying work. Not a dildo in sight. Not a single masturbatory moment. Minimal cross-dressing. Raucous pop music for some of the time. But dance, and more dance, and more fascinating dance.

Has he finally, as the doctors used to say, Grown Out Of It? Certainly, this new Oh My Goddess- part of the Jerwood Proms at the Wells (half of the stalls removed, and standing room at £5. Hurrah) - is a fascinating evening. The show is well staged, decently dressed (I loved the entry of the cast with paper bags on their heads) and well danced by a cast of eight.

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Ballet without corsets
By Ismene Brown in The Daily Telegraph

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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 11:34 pm 
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Location: London
Umbrella's birthday party was a joyous celebration of movement and music

Jann Parry
Sunday October 5, 2003
The Observer

Dance Umbrella gala Sadler's Wells, London EC1
Michael Clark Sadler's Wells, London EC1
Scottish Ballet Edinburgh Playhouse

Quote:
Val Bourne's prescription for a Dance Umbrella gala is that it must be fun. Newcomers to postmodern dance should have their eyes opened to the range of what is possible.
more...


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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:58 pm 
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Location: London, England
I'm sorry I missed this one. I'm often unimpressed by people who are just out to shock but it sounds like there was some really good dancing in this show. Plus I love PJ Harvey's music. Does anyone know whether this work is touring?


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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:08 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from the Independent.

Quote:
Love him or loathe him, Michael Clark has occupied pole position for much of the past two decades and is British dance's true iconoclast. Never mind the patchy productivity and a tendency to repeat himself: there is simply no one like him. And that was the overwhelming feeling as he unveiled his latest collection of pieces to a packed Sadler's Wells, including several hundred brave souls who thought it worth £5 to stand (part of the successful Jerwood Proms initiative).

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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 2:15 am 
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Location: Italy and UK
OH MY GODDESS
Micheal Clark, Saturday 4th October, 2003, Sadlers Wells, London

A huge sheetlike programme in a fluerescent orange as my entrance into Micheal Clark's underworld, a cheerful atmosphere to warm up the chilled souls and bodies of people coming into Sadlers Wells. People coming in after aknowledging the fact that summer and possibly autumn are over in this side of the world. A beer and a curiosity to see and discover the movements, the moments that will capture my attention giving me a sense of who and what Micheal Clark is about.

I belong to that 'brave' folk who decided to go for the standing tickets, it felt like a concert, very exciting, people of all ages sitting and waiting, waiting and chatting away. My friend and I found a suitable place in the middle and rested until a remarkably intense voice declared the start of the performance, not before reminding everybody of switching off their mobile phones (of course not everybody 'obeyed'!).

Somebody is chewing a chewingam in my ear, lights go off and curtain is raised.
A world of irony invades the stage. The first part of this work is very enjoyable especially for the asymmetric black wig device of the group in 'Dreams' and for the dynamism of 'Can, Did'. Had 'Satie Studs' been a bit shorter, I find I would have enjoyed it more. The comic effect of the costumes and the slow paced set of movements of the dancers, though, made it quite entertaining.

The second part of the performance (after an interval spent in finding a better spot as my reduced height did not allow a relaxed laid back type of watching, ah ah!) was the one I preferred. 'To bring you my love' opens the piece. It is a beautiful song by P.J.Harvey, her raucous and steady voice perfect to introduce the 'Oh my Goddess' piece. The costumes range from black leotards to pastel pink short dresses. The black leotards with a touch of acid green for women and of fluorescent pink for men, are placed within the pelvic area, going along the inside legs for the former, and upwards to the stomach for the latter. Humour does need small, but strategically placed spots, to work out! The pastel pink short dresses worn by men and women alike (one would say: what is 'man'? what is 'woman' in this realm?) and cut as to reveal part of the dancers' bottom (not bare but explicitly displayed under the stretching pastel pink texture!) underline the high paced rhythm of this part of the choreography.

As for Micheal Clark himself, he appeares and disappeares, engaging at times in articulated set of movements. In addition he is wearing a sparkling silver(?) ring which highlights, in flashy snapshots, the movements of his upper torso and arms.

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Rosella Simonari


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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 11:19 pm 
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I thought this would fit here since we are discussing Michael Clark. Clark is described as a "modern dance guru."

A much-needed agent provocateur in a world bored with play-safe tactics
By Susannah Frankel in Paris
11 October 2003

Quote:
Alexander McQueen transformed a 19th-century ballroom into the world's most glamorous dance marathon in Paris yesterday.

The designer said that the inspiration for his spring/summer 2004 collection was the Sydney Pollack classic They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, set in America during the Depression. Never one to do things by half, McQueen enlisted the services of the modern dance guru Michael Clark who choreographed the event.
more...


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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 1:07 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Michael Clark – Oh My Goddess
By John Percival for The Stage

Much calmer than most of Michael Clark's earlier work, his new show opening the Dance Umbrella festival comprises mainly two substantial dance suites. Dominating the evening's first half is Satie Studs, a development of his other recent pieces to music by Erik Satie, played by Piano Circus on four concert grands ranged across the stage.

Like the score, Clark's dances for a cast of eight combine classic and modern, elegance and originality.

Similar qualities, although in less serene mood, govern Oh My Goddess in the second half, set to seven songs by PJ Harvey (this sequence also gives its name to the evening as a whole).

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 Post subject: Re: Michael Clark
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 6:22 am 
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Location: Italy and UK
THE SLAPPING MODE OF ACTION: SOME MORE NOTES ON MICHAEL CLARK'S 'OH MY GODDESS'

The first choral piece of the performance presented the dancers dressed alike in black, robotically moving to a very 80s music.

What produced an ironic and, at the same time, witty effect, was an almost mechanical torso movement completed by a slapping action of their right-or-left (can't figure out at present) arm.

The straight black a-symmetrical wig they all were wearing added the final touch to the bit, thus inscribing the piece in a perfect michaelclarkish mode of action.

By the end of the performance with the last piece in again a-symmetrically mis-assembled suits, I understood that slapping was not just a torso-right-or-left-arm mode of action but rather a politics of dance Michael Clark fills his work with.

He used to shock his audience and he always employs a good portion of humour in his approach to space and movement, a quality dance needs and is hungry for. Therefore I say 'keep up slapping us michael, keep up...and thanks for the vibes!!!'

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Rosella Simonari


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