Press Release

Michael Clark Company at Tate Modern

Michael Clark Company at Tate Modern: Press related to past exhibition.


8 June –12 June 2011
Turbine Hall, Tate Modern

Michael Clark Company returns to Tate Modern to present the world premiere of th, a new commission for the Turbine Hall. Iconic British choreographer Michael Clark has worked with movement, film, light and sound to create a site-specific work to be performed Wednesday 8 June – Sunday 12 June 2011.

The new commission, created in response to the monumental architecture of the Turbine Hall, follows from the company’s residency last year. This unique event provided an extraordinary opportunity for Tate Modern visitors to witness the artistic process behind Clark’s choreography. Using the first part of the project as an opportunity to explore and experiment, Michael Clark Company has embedded this research into a new piece. Clark has worked with long-standing collaborators Charles Atlas and Stevie Stewart. The sound design is by Martyn Ware and Andy Pink.

Building on last year’s success, the company once again invited members of the public to take part in a series of weekly workshops. This unique opportunity has allowed non-professional dancers to become a part of the artistic creation and contribute to the final performances.

Clark recently presented the work come, been and gone at the Venice Biennale (2009), The Edinburgh Festival (2009) and the Barbican Centre (2009 and 2010) to great critical acclaim.

Michael Clark Company is an Artistic Associate of the Barbican Centre and supported by Arts Council England.

Tate Modern Live is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator (Contemporary Art and Performance) and Kathy Noble, Curator (Interdisciplinary Projects), assisted by Capucine Perrot, Assistant Curator, Tate.

Editor notes

Michael Clark was born in Scotland and trained at the Royal Ballet School in London (1975–9). In 1979 joined Ballet Rambert, working primarily with Richard Alston. Later, attending a summer school with Merce Cunningham and John Cage led him to work with Karole Armitage, through whom he met Charles Atlas.

The first concert of his own choreography was in 1982 at London’s Riverside Studios, where he became resident choreographer. By 1984 Clark had made 16 original pieces.

Michael Clark and Company was launched in 1984. The company was an immediate success and toured internationally. During this time Clark collaborated with fashion designers BodyMap, artists Leigh Bowery and Trojan, as well as The Fall, Laibach, and Wire.

Clark’s commissions for major dance companies include the G.R.C.O.P., The Paris Opera, Scottish Ballet, London Festival Ballet, Ballet Rambert, Phoenix Dance Company and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Clark has produced considerable work for film and video, including Hail the New Puritan (1984) and Because We Must (1989) with Charles Atlas. He also choreographed and danced the role of Caliban in Peter Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books (1991).

After three years of commissions and solo work he created the original version of Mmm… (1992) and O (1994). In 1998 he presented a new full-length work, current/SEE, in collaboration with Susan Stenger, Simon Pearson, Big Bottom, and Hussein Chalayan which became the subject of a BBC documentary directed by Sophie Fiennes, The Late Michael Clark. 

Before and After: The Fall (2001) was Clark’s first major collaboration with the visual artist Sarah Lucas. In 2003 Clark created the first Satie Stud for William Trevitt of George Piper Dances, produced an evening entitled Would, Should, Can, Did, for the Barbican Theatre in London, and choreographed a solo for Mikhail Baryshnikov. In the same year, OH MY GODDESS opened London Dance Umbrella’s 25th anniversary season. In 2004 Rambert Dance Company revived SWAMP, which received the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production in 2005.

In 2005 Michael Clark Company became an Artistic Associate of the Barbican Centre, London, and Clark embarked on the Stravinsky Project, a three-year collaboration to produce a trilogy of works to seminal dance scores by Igor Stravinsky. He radically reworked O and Mmm… for this project, and in 2007 he premiered the final installment, I Do. The Stravinsky Project had its US premiere at the Lincoln Center, New York, in June 2008.