Gary Clarke Company is a project based company based in Yorkshire who produce contemporary dance theatre that comments on both popular and political culture.
Artistic Director Gary Clarke is currently regarded as one of the UK’s leading independent dance artists who has received great appreciation for his work as a Choreographer, Director, Performer, Mentor, Teacher and Facilitator. He has developed a growing reputation for creating extraordinary dance work of various sizes and scales which has received praise from critics, audiences, producers, national dance agencies and venues in the UK and abroad.
Gary has developed a wealth of choreographic experience in creating site-specific works (in pubs, clubs, graveyards and galleries) as well as full-length productions for stage. His work is renowned for its thought provoking nature; its visually striking imagery and idiosyncratic style.
Since 2003, Gary Clarke Company has received regular support and funding from Arts Council England and numerous National Dance Agencies and venues to create an impressive body of work which has received both critical and audience acclaim and has toured extensively both nationally and internationally.
His work to date has been featured in a variety of prestigious festivals and seasons including The British Dance Edition, Spring Loaded, The Edinburgh Festival, Birmingham International Dance Festival, Exposure: Dance at The Royal Opera House, Leap Festival, Pulse Fringe Festival, Big Dance, Touchwood, Junge Hunde International Theatre Festival, City to City Cabaret, Hull Dance, LABAN Autumn Season, LEAP Festival and Homotopia – Liverpool’s annual celebration of queer arts and culture.
In 2004 Gary was established as a Yorkshire Dance Partner, became Artist in Residence at NSCD and received the Artist Development Award from Danceworks UK, which was presented to him by iconic British choreographer Michael Clark. In 2009 he became an Associate Artist at Yorkshire Dance under the LIFT programme and was honoured with The Gary Clarke Dance Award from the Department of Creative Media and Entertainment Industries. In 1998 he was the first recipient of the Brian Glover Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performing Arts and Dance. In 2011, Gary was invited by Royal Command to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace held by Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip to acknowledge certain organisations and individual’s outstanding contribution to the arts.
During 2012, Gary choreographed a number of large scale productions to commemorate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games including ‘Overworlds & Underworlds’ in collaboration with avant-garde film makers The Quay Brothers, ‘Games Time’, a touring outdoor multimedia spectacular event involving 800 performers produced by DEDA, ‘HOME’ for Birmingham International Dance Festival and ‘The Opening Ceremony’ for the arrival of The Olympic Torch in Leeds. He also choreographed ‘Just 30!’ to celebrate 30 years of Yorkshire Dance and ‘The Yorkshire Flock’ for Big Dance 2012.
In the same year his trademark work ‘2 Men & a Michael’ was selected to be featured as part of Exposure Dance at The Royal Opera House and was performed by comedy dance duo New Art Club. He toured his triple bill Menage a Trio to a number of venues around the UK and was selected by Dance4 in Nottingham to take part in Europe in Motion – a European artist exchange programme facilitated by choreographer Jonathan Burrows and visual artist Gerald Nestler featured as part of Brut Imagetanz Festival in Vienna.
Gary is regularly sought out to create work for professional companies, institutions and organisations nationwide including Trinity LABAN, MAP Dance, 12 Degrees North Dance Company, Edge FWD, Anjali Dance Company, Taciturn Dance Company, Surrey Dance Collective, StopGAP Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Ascendance REP, Ludus Dance Company, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, York St John School of Arts, DanceXchange, Dance4, Dance East, DEDA Producing, Merseyside Dance Initiative, Yorkshire Dance, The Taliesin Arts Centre, The Pink Fringe and Homotopia.
Since 2001, Gary Clarke has created over 50 dance works of varying sizes and scales. Gary has also worked on a variety of projects with some of the world’s leading contemporary companies and choreographers including Lea Anderson’s The Cholmondeleys & The Featherstonehaughs, Matthew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures (AMP), Lloyd Newson’s DV8 Physical Theatre, Liv Lorent’s balletLORENT, Candoco Dance Company / Jerome Bel, Bock & Vincenzi, Retina Dance Company, Nigel Charnock + Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Maresa Von Stockert & Tilted Productions, Sadlers Wells & Young Vic Productions, TC Howard, Compagnie Felix Ruckert, Wendy Houstoun, Frauke Requardt and David Rosenberg, Javier De Frutos, Future Cinema and ACE Dance & Music.
In 2011 and 2012, Gary worked as a movement artist on the Paramount Picture film ‘World War Z’ featuring Hollywood movie star Brad Pitt and directed by award winning director Marc Forster.
Gary’s extensive experience spans the areas of dance, theatre, film and live art on both large and small scales.
“The full-on energy is crowd-pleasing, but the choreography has bite and depth and the dancing crackles with class and conviction”
“If you squashed Gary Clarke into a time capsule, buried it, and retrieved it in years to come, a heady reminder of the politically turbulent and poptastic 80’s and 90’s would leap out like a crazed jack-in-the-box.”
“If we tell you that Gary Clarke has been mentored by two of the more mischief making names in contemporary dance, it gives you an idea of Clarke’s maverick tendencies.”
“Gary Clarke’s work always defies easy categorisation and we should treasure him”