Saturday, April 26, 2008

Michael Clark





Michael Clark (born June, 1962) is a British dancer and choreographer.

He was born in Aberdeen and started attending Scottish dancing lessons at the age of four along with one of his sisters. He later went to ballet classes in Aberdeen. At the age of 13 he was given a place at the Royal Ballet School in London, but after he graduated at the age of 17 he turned down a place with the Company. He went to Ballet Rambert for two years and developed his interest in modern dance. At the age of 22 he formed his own company. His performances also included flamboyant costumes by the bisexual club-goer Leigh Bowery. At the time Michael Clark lived with his lover, David Holah of Bodymap, in a council flat in King's Cross.

It was David Holah and Stevie Stewart who designed Clark's outrageous costumes. Michael Clark fell into a decline with the abuse of alcohol and drugs in the late 1980s and he had to retire in 1988 at the age of 26 because of serious heroin addiction. His mother moved down from Scotland to look after him. In 1989 he met and fell in love with the American dancer and choreographer Stephen Petronio, and he began to dry out and pull himself together.

In 1988 he collaborated with The Fall on landmark rock ballet "I Am Kurious, Oranj.

In 1991 Michael Clark appeared as Caliban in Peter Greenaway's film Prospero's Books. In 1993 he produced the dance work Mmm, and then in 1994 its companion piece O. In 1994 his friend and mentor Leigh Bowery died and he became seriously depressed. He also had a badly injured knee and had to cancel his show "Roots II". He returned to the village of Kintore 20 miles from Aberdeen where he was brought up, to live with his mother. He returned to dance in 1998.