Claire Cunningham is a performer and creator of multi-disciplinary performance based in Glasgow, Scotland. One of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned disabled artists, Cunningham’s work is often rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches and the exploration of the potential of her own specific physicality with a conscious rejection of traditional dance techniques (developed for non-disabled bodies). This runs alongside a deep interest in the lived experience of disability and its implications not only as a choreographer but also in terms of societal notions of knowledge, value, connection and interdependence.
Most recently, Claire’s ensemble piece, Thank You Very Much won CATS awards for Best Ensemble and Best Sound and Music and was the inspiration for the Radio 4 programme, Elvis – A Tribute in Dance. In 2019, Claire created her first piece for gallery spaces, taking part in Automatise Ambulatoire: Hysteria, Imitation, curated by Amanda Cachia for Owen’s Art Gallery, Sackville, Canada. In 2020, Claire collaborated with scholar and activist Julia Watts Belser on audio works Quanimacy commissioned by The Place, London and We Run Like Rivers for Theaterformen Festival, Hannover. In 2021, Claire was honored for her Outstanding Artistic Development in dance at the German Dance Awards. From October 2023, Claire will take up the position of Einstein Professor of “Choreography, Dance and Disability Arts” at the Inter-University Centre for Dance (HZT) in Berlin.
Image provided by the artist.