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Claire Cunnighma and collaborator Jess Curtis, together on a street. Claire is suspended on crutches, Jess is supporting her.

Photography by Sven Hagolani.

Claire Cunningham

Dance | 2015

How do we look at each other?

How do we allow ourselves to be seen? How do our bodies shape the ways we perceive the world around us? Can we change how we see others?

The Way You Look (at me) Tonight is a social sculpture—a sensory journey, for two performers and audience. Dancing, singing, telling stories and asking questions, leading UK disabled artist Claire Cunningham and international choreographer and performer Jess Curtis, combine performance, original music, and video to wrestle (sometimes literally) with important questions about our habits and practices of perceiving each other and the world.

In collaboration with noted author and philosopher of perception Dr. Alva Noë, video artist Yoann Trellu, composer Matthias Herrmann, and dramaturge Luke Pell, they perform an evening-length duet that excavates their own ways of seeing each other—as a man and a woman of different ages, bodies and backgrounds. In 2005 Curtis was the choreographer who first introduced Cunningham to movement, leading to her career as a choreographer in her own right. Now a decade later they return to work together to co-create The Way You Look (at me) Tonight.

Choreographers: Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis

Artistic collaborator and consultant: Dr. Alva Noë

Dramaturgical support: Luke Pell

Composer: Matthias Herrmann

Video artist: Yoann Trellu

Executive producer: Nadja Dias

Co-producers: Alec White and Julia Danila for Jess Curtis/Gravity

Co-commissioner: Tramway, Glasgow

The Way You Look (at me) Tonight is made possible with the support from: Tramway Glasgow, The Place London, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, British Council, New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, The San Francisco Arts Commission, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Fonds Darstellende Kunst and the Berlin Senat Kofinanzierung Fonds.

“It’s an eclectic, provocative and often fascinating view of the capabilities of the human form, of social

perceptions, and of how far the art of dance can be pushed.” – Mary Ellen Hunt, San Francisco Chronicle

Smart, sensitive and sometimes sensual…well worth seeing” **** The Times

Claire Cunningham is a performer and creator of multi-disciplinary performance based in Glasgow. Originally a classically-trained singer, she began to work in dance in 2005 after working with US choreographer Jess Curtis, who kindled her curiosity in her own potential for movement.

Now one of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned self-identifying disabled artists, her work ranges from the auto-biographical solo ME (Mobile/Evolution) (2009), to the large-scale Menage a Trois (2013). It is often rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches and the exploration of the potential of her own specific physicality.

Dance duet with American performer Jess Curtis. Available from September 2016.

Supported by Unlimited, with funding from Creative Scotland, co-commissioned by Tramway Glasgow; further supported by New England Foundation for the Arts, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and San Francisco Arts Commission; Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V., Kofinanzierungsfonds der Senatskanzlei für Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, The Place, Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Previous events include 

6 – 7 September 2016 – South Bank Centre’s Unlimited Festival, London

15 – 16 September 2016 – Tramway’s Unlimited Festival, Glasgow

22 September 2016 – California State University,  San Marcos, USA

29 September – 9 October 2016 – Counterpulse,  San Francisco, USA

14 – 15 October 2016 – Miami Dade County Auditorium, Miami, USA

22 – 23 October 2016 – Dance Place, Washington DC, USA

2 – 6 November 2016 – Ufer Studios,  Berlin, Germany

Upcoming Events 

29 – 30 April – Tanzhaus, Duesseldorf

6 May – the Place, London