12 by Claire Cunningham, Photography by Rachel Cherry 2012

With 12 Claire Cunningham invites us into a wonderous, imaginative world – a theatrical piece that plays with life’s crutches. The result is a riotous piece full of childlike beauty and surreal humour.

What are your crutches? What holds you up? Gets you through? What…or who? And when does it tip over from something you love to something darker, a deeper need, and start to affect those around you? Does that mean its bad? And if so, who decides what’s bad for us….? What are your crutches? And who are you to judge mine……

Stine Nilsen, Co-Artistic Director, Candoco

Claire’s autobiographical approach is a new and interesting direction for Candoco, with the use of her own everyday essential mode of transport – a pair of crutches – as the choreographic starting point for a piece. Combined with an inclusive company of dancers, this will make a positive statement about disability as well as celebrating the values of inclusion.

Claire Cunningham, Choreographer

I want to play with the idea of not using the crutches in the way they were intended, but rather as connections between people, effecting each others movement and creating a puppet-like image of the dancer.

Watch the insight film

Production Details

  • Year: 2012
  • Concept & Direction: Claire Cunningham
  • Assistant Director and Mentor: Gail Sneddon
  • Material creation: All performers
  • Lighting Design: Karsten Tinapp
  • Costume Design: Shanti Freed
  • Dancers: > Darren Anderson, Elinor Baker, Dan Daw, Mirjam Gurtner, Annie Hanauer, Victoria Malin, Chris Owen, Welly O’Brien, Edu O., Maggie Ho Ki Kwan, Mickaella Dantas, (Ronny) Ming Hei Wong
  • Composer: Matthias Herrmann

Claire Cunningham biography:

Claire Cunningham has a strong knowledge of Candoco, having undertaken workshops with the company in the past. Claire has established a reputation for making interesting work rooted in her personal experience, with a focus to-date on choreographing solo pieces for herself which enable her to showcase her unique movement vocabulary based around use of her crutches as an integral element in each work. Her background as a singer and performance artist gives her a different perspective and way into dance. She also has a continuing interest in aerial work and with choreographer Jess Curtis is developing her use of crutches as well as other apparatus. Claire recently received a large grant from the Scottish Arts Council to develop her teaching skills and find ways of relaying her knowledge of making and performing dance with crutches to other performers. This is a timely and natural progression, enabling Claire to develop her choreographic work for larger numbers of people.