Claire Cunningham

Claire is a performer and creator of multi-disciplinary performance based in Glasgow, Scotland, and a current Factory Artist with Tanzhaus nrw in Düsseldorf, Germany, as well as a Work Place Artist with The Place, London.

One of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned disabled artists, Cunningham’s work is often rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches and the exploration of the potential of her own specific physicality with a conscious rejection of traditional dance techniques (developed for non-disabled bodies). This runs alongside a deep interest in the lived experience of disability and its implications not only as a choreographer but also in terms of societal notions of knowledge, value, connection and interdependence. A self-identifying disabled artist, Cunningham’s work combines multiple art forms and ranges from the intimate solo show ME (Mobile/Evolution) in 2009, to the large ensemble work 12 made for Candoco Dance Company.

In 2014 she created a new solo: Give Me a Reason to Live, inspired by the work of Dutch medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch and the role of beggars/cripples in his work, and the full length show Guide Gods, looking at the perspectives of the major Faith traditions towards the issue of disability. Awarded one of the Unlimited Commissions in 2016 she created the duet The Way You Look (at me) Tonight with choreographer Jess Curtis.  The piece has since toured world-wide, was selected for the 2018 Tanzplattform in Germany and was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award.

Claire is a former Artist-in–Residence at the Women of the World Festival at the Southbank, London, and of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens. In 2016 she was Artist in Residence with Perth International Arts Festival, Australia, and Associate Artist at Tramway, Glasgow.

In July 2019 Claire premiered a new ensemble piece, Thank You Very Much, at Manchester International Festival. In 2019 Claire was also commissioned to do her first piece for gallery spaces, taking part in Automatise Ambulatoire: Hysteria, Imitation, curated by Amanda Cachia for Owen’s Art Gallery, Sackville, Canada.


A headshot of artist Claire Cunningham.

Claire Cunningham. credit A.R.cropped



Thank You Very Much

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2019 season announced for National Theatre of Scotland

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