Claire Cunningham GIVE ME A REASON TO LIVE - PIAF .GIVE ME A REASON TO LIVE Claire Cunningham
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Transcript of Claire Cunningham GIVE ME A REASON TO LIVE - PIAF .GIVE ME A REASON TO LIVE Claire Cunningham
GIVE ME A REASON TO LIVE
11 Feb6 Mar 2016 | perthfestival.com.au
Co-presented by Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
Choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham
Lighting designer Karsten Tinapp
Sound designer Zo Irvine
Cellist Matthias Herrmann
Additional music Nesciens Mater Jean Mouton,
Den Tod JS Bach
Costume designer Shanti Freed
Mentors Kristin De Groot (Bosch project)
Janice Parker (Scotland)
Executive producer Nadja Dias
Technical manager Gregor Knppel
Assistant producers Daisy Douglas
No one could defeat death
among all humanity,
this was all because of our sins,
no innocence was to be found.
Therefore death came so soon
and took power over us,
held us captive in his kingdom.
BWV 4 Cantata Christ lag in Todes Banden
Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt
Bei allen Menschenkindern,
Das macht alles unsre Snd,
Kein Unschuld war zu finden.
Davon kam der Tod so bald
Und nahm ber uns Gewalt,
Hielt uns in seinem Reich gefangen.
Cover image: Maria Falconer
PICA, PERTH CULTURAL CENTRE Wed 2Sat 5 Mar
This performance runs for 40 minutes, no interval
GIVE ME A REASON TO LIVE UNITED KINGDOM
Claire Cunningham Creator and performer
Glasgow-based performer, Claire Cunningham, is one of the UKs most renowned disabled artists. Her work is often rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches, and the exploration of the potential of her own
specific physicality. She consciously rejects traditional dance techniques developed for non-disabled bodies, as well as any attempt to move with the pretence of a body or aesthetic other than her own. Cunninghams work combines multiple art forms and ranges from intimate solo shows to large ensemble works. She is a former artist-in-residence at the Women of the World Festival at Southbank Centre, London, and the Belfast International Arts Festival at Queens University, and will be this years associate artist at Tramway, Glasgow.
CLAIRE CUNNINGHAM ON GIVE ME A REASON TO LIVE
Give Me a Reason to Live was created out of a project which looked at the works of medieval painter, Hieronymus Bosch. Some of his works depict beggars as cripples and vice versa, and an academic had suggested that these figures might symbolise sin. I became fascinated with that potential reading of disability.
Exploring the issues of religion (and religious art, in particular), alongside questions regarding the judgement of bodies and quality of life, this work takes the form of a series of tests. Tests of body and of faith. It is, for me, a study in the notion of empathy.
Give Me A Reason to Live exists also as a live memorial to the disabled victims of the Nazi Aktion T4 euthanasia program, and the current disabled victims of the ongoing welfare reform in the UK.
Image: Hugh Glendinning
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For the 2016 Festival, PIAF has invited Claire Cunningham to be artist-in-residence. As well as her two performance works, Claire will lead a week of artist workshops and spend the duration of the Festival in Western Australia.
PIAF has a commitment to presenting work by artists with disability. This commitment addresses a core value of its artistic vision to celebrate diversity and difference. Over the next four years, in partnership with DADAA, PIAF will create opportunities for a dynamic exchange of ideas and practice between visiting international artists with disability, our arts community and audiences across Australia.
PIAF Connect is the new program through which Perth International Arts Festival is fostering the development of local artists and industry. Through bespoke partnership projects, the program connects WAs creative community with the Festival, as well as international artists and producers. Visit perthfestival.com.au for more details.
A PIAF project presented in association with DADAA
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Creator and performer Claire Cunningham
Composer and musician Derek Nisbet
Designer Karen Tennant
Lighting designer Brian Gorman
Captioner Louisa McDaid
Audio describer Christopher McKiddie
Mentor Tom Rodan
Theatre musician understudy Jennifer B Banks
Executive producer Nadja Dias
Technical manager Robert Watson
Stage manager Marisa Ferguson
Assistant producers Daisy Douglas
CLAIRE CUNNINGHAM ON GUIDE GODS
The idea for Guide Gods was triggered by my research in Cambodia, where I was looking into landmines and meeting landmine survivors. When I was there, I encountered this individual he was a disabled man who had polio as a child and was now a teacher in a school for disabled children. But he had been a Buddhist monk and there were two things of interest with his story firstly, he attributed his disability to karma. His belief was that he had done something bad in a previous life and, therefore, he was disabled in this one. I felt, somehow, that that reflected on me in a judgement had I done something, therefore, in a previous life, in his opinion?
The second thing that he suggested was that he wasnt supposed to be a Buddhist monk he wasnt allowed to be a Buddhist monk, as a disabled person, which was not something Id ever heard and that piqued my curiosity. It made me want to find out more about faith and beliefs around disability, and made me aware of my own vast ignorance around religions, generally. It made me wan