PRINT September 2008


FROM THE BEGINNING, Michael Clark’s soaring aptitude for ballet has been agitated by a voraciously analytic mind and a rebellious spirit. As an adolescent, he trained at London’s Royal Ballet School, where he excelled to the degree that in 1979, at the age of seventeen, he was offered a place in the company. Clark turned down the invitation, thus embarking upon a career guided by a disinclination to propagate the superficial appearance of his form without delving into its meaning—for him personally, for his dancers, for his audience, for our culture. Over the course of three decades, he has repeatedly used the concrete and delimited space of the stage to perform a world of his own making, creating self-portraits that are also allegories of community. These emblematic live tableaux have in turn connected the discrete parts of his life: the Scottish Highland dance he grew up with in his

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