Claire Cunningham is a Scottish choreographer and contemporary dancer who performs with crutches. She’s a hugely respected artist who tours all over the world in both disabled and non-disabled arts festivals.
In this BBC Radio 4 arts feature, we join Claire in the studio in Glasgow and London during the research period for a new work ‘Thank You Very Much’ which draws on Claire’s current fascination with Elvis Tribute Artists. Her first ensemble piece, she’s brought together a group of performers who identify as disabled. As part of the process, they train with their own Elvis tribute acts and explore their own histories of physical therapy. Claire’s intrigued by the difference between impersonation and tribute, what it means to train to become someone else – or an ideal of someone else – and relating this to the lived experience of disability. And asks “is this also a life of being pressured to be someone you are not?”
Featured on BBC Radio 4’s Pick of The Week and the Seriously podcast.
Producer: Victoria Ferran
Exec: Susan Marling
Broadcast Date: 4th December 2018