By Claire Cunningham
With 12 Claire Cunningham invites us into a wondrous, 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?

Claire Cunningham 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.

With thanks to Wayne McGregor, Siobhan Davies and Mich Weaver for mentoring the choreographers; Bettina Carpi, Aristide Rontini, Kimberley Harvey, Memet Sefa for their involvement in the creation process; Sarah Storer and Susanna Recchia, Kevin Leo, Sam Collins, Anna Bergstrom, Greenwich Dance and Trinity Laban, Joyce Wilson and the rest of the Unlimited team at Arts Council England, Nigel Hinds and Elizabeth Kay at LOCOG, Stagetext, Hazel Northwood and Rachel Parslew, and The Brazilian Embassy.

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.
Stine Nilsen, Co-Artistic Director, Candoco
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.
Claire Cunningham, Choreographer


Production details

Concept & Direction

Claire Cunningham

Assistant Director & Mentor

Gail Sneddon

Costume Designer

Shanti Freed

Lighting Design

Karsten Tinapp


Matthias Hermann

Performed by

Darren Anderson, Mickaella Dantas, Dan Daw, Mirjam Gurtner, Annie Hanauer, Maggie Ho Ki Kwan, Victoria Malin, Welly O’Brien, Edu O., Kostas Papamatthaiakis, Susanna Recchia and (Ronny) Ming Hei Wong



Running Time

30 minutes