Contemporary dance and punk rock will collide at the Byham Theater, when the award-winning British dance troupe Michael Clark Company takes the stage on Saturday, November 1st. Making their Pittsburgh debut, and in town for just one night, the bold and boundary-breaking company will present a program featuring Clark’s choreographic work entitled, come, been and gone.
One of Britain’s top choreographers, Clark is renowned for his unique style that blends worlds of classical ballet with contemporary dance, fashion, music and visual art, as well as for his cutting-edge collaborations with celebrated bands, fashion designers and visual artists including Wire, Bodymap, Leigh Bowery, Trojan and Sarah Lucas.
Pairing Clark’s innovative and electrifying choreography with the timeless music of rock legend David Bowie, the critically acclaimed come, been and gone was created for the British company’s 25th anniversary. Premiering in 2009, the production features original lighting design by Clark’s long term collaborator, filmmaker and lighting designer Charles Atlas. Also featured is choreography influenced by the music of Iggy Pop, Brian Eno and The Velvet Underground and costumes by Stevie Stewart and Michael Clark.
The first act of come, been and gone features Clark’s work, SWAMP, which debuted in 1986 and was choreographed for Rambert Dance Company. Winner of the 2005 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production, SWAMP‘s choreography mixes contemporary and experimental movement, with less rigid classical overtones and a finale that showcases Clark’s choreographic sense of style via the use of constant changing partners, exquisitely textured patterns of movement and group dynamics.
Fans of modern and contemporary dance won’t want to miss this one-night-only movement experience, which has been garnered such descriptions as thunderous, rebellious, sensual and electrifying. Blending a classical integrity with more complex and contemporary sensibilities, Clark’s works embrace dualities, tensions and intersections, such as virtue and vice, abandon and control and grace and embarrassment. An evening filled with attention-seeking sound, stimulating visuals and impressive fine-tuned focused dancers, come, been and gone was also commissioned by prestigious companies in London, Venice, Stockholm, Edinburgh and Luxembourg.
A video excerpt from come, been and gone was included in the smash hit exhibition David Bowie Is, presented at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, an internationally touring exhibition that can be seen in the US at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago through January 4, 2015.
Clark’s works have been commissioned by major dance companies around the world. He is also the recipient of a 2014 Robert Robson Award for Dance, an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts from Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, and a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire award in recognition for his contributions to dance. In 2012, Michael Clark presented WHO’S ZOO?, a specially commissioned piece for the Whitney Biennial in New York City.
Michael Clark Company. Featured: Oxana Panchenko and Clair Thomas. Photo by Jake Walters.