Profile: Choreographer Claire Cunningham
ME(Mobile/Evolution) is a double bill of two separate pieces
What made you want to be a choreographer?
I didn’t. It’s happened by accident! As I began to work in movement, images began to occur to me that I wanted to create, or ideas about trying new ways of using the crutches, or an unusual balance kept occurring. Eventually it began to make sense to try to make these images into something – that was the beginning of making my first piece, Evolution.
What is the inspiration behind your latest show?
ME(Mobile/Evolution) is a double bill of two separate pieces. Evolution has two ideas running through it – one is that of the changes that had happened to my body over my lifetime, due to medical interventions then due to dance. The second thread is that of the various dance techniques I’d been exposed to that gradually convinced me I could and should work in dance. Mobile was inspired initially by visiting an exhibition of work by the sculptor Alexander Calder, who invented mobiles, and seeing his work there were certain sculptures that made me think of crutches and the way they have similarly unexpected balance points.
What are you looking for in the people you collaborate with?
Trust and honesty. It’s a frightening thing to really open yourself up to someone in the way you have to in collaboration – to throw out your stupidest thoughts, be willing to expose yourself and your behaviours in improvisations, etc. So you need to have respect for each other, and probably for me a similar dark sense of humour …
What do you hope audiences will take away from your work?
I hope they have something to talk about – good or bad, I don’t actually mind. I think if art makes people have a conversation then that is a good place to start from.
ME (Mobile/Evolution), Gilmorehill Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 20 Apr.