Not Only Rock ’n’ Roll

WORDS BY THEA LEWIS-YATES

PHOTOGRAPHY BY HUGO GLENDINNING

  Michael Clark Company to a simple, rock ’n’ roll . . . song. Satie Studs Ogive 4: Harry Alexander, Benjamin Warbis

Michael Clark Company to a simple, rock ’n’ roll . . . song. Satie Studs Ogive 4: Harry Alexander, Benjamin Warbis

Michael Clark’s much anticipated show ‘to a simple, rock 'n’ roll… song.’ packs a serious sensory punch. Clark’s classical ballet training, and the strength and rigour of his dancers is evident in the remarkable precision and coherence of movement which defines the show. The first act's music, costume (designed by Clark’s long-term collaborator and friend, BodyMap’s Stevie Stewart) and ultra pared-back lighting design all enhance this idea of exacting, stark control. But a rebellious fire is impossible to quench, and the next 2 acts, danced to Patti Smith and David Bowie, burst into moments of raw sexuality and as the title suggests - rock and roll. Clark’s ability to create the perfect tension between the classical and the outré, and his ingenious incorporation of fashion, art and music, has put him at the forefront of British dance since his post-punk days. The master has yet again exceeded expectation - since leaving the show on an almost narcotic high on Tuesday evening, I have thought of little else. Inspiration: in a (Jean Genie’s) bottle.

  Michael Clark Company to a simple, rock ’n’ roll . . . song. Satie Studs Ogive 1: Jordan James Bridge

Michael Clark Company to a simple, rock ’n’ roll . . . song. Satie Studs Ogive 1: Jordan James Bridge

  Michael Clark Company to a simple, rock ’n’ roll . . . song. LAND Harry Alexander, Jordan James Bridge

Michael Clark Company to a simple, rock ’n’ roll . . . song. LAND Harry Alexander, Jordan James Bridge

  Michael Clark Company to a simple, rock ’n’ roll . . . song. Satie Studs Ogives 2: Kieran Page, Melissa Hetherington

Michael Clark Company to a simple, rock ’n’ roll . . . song. Satie Studs Ogives 2: Kieran Page, Melissa Hetherington

At the Barbican, London to 15 October, and The Lowry, Salford 19 October. www.barbican.org.uk www.thelowry.com

DAVID NEWTON