Martha Clarke

(b. 1944)

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(b Baltimore, 3 Jun. 1944)

US dancer, choreographer, and theatre director, renowned for her multi-disciplinary approach. She studied at the Peabody Conservatory and at the Juilliard School with Tudor and Sokolow. She danced with Anna Sokolow's company (1963–1966) and Pilobolus Dance Theater (1971–8) then in 1978 she co-founded Crowsnest Dance Company with the French choreographer Félix Blaska and the Pilobolus dancer Robby Barnett. As a choreographer she became best known as the creator of full-length works which blurred the distinctions between dance and theatre, the most famous of which was The Garden of Earthly Delights (mus. Richard Peaslee). Inspired by the paintings of the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch it combined dance with acrobatics and spectacular stage effects. Later works have included Vienna: Lusthaus, (1986); The Hunger Artist (1987) based on stories by Kafka, Miracolo d'amore (1988) inspired by drawings by Tiepolo, and Vers la flamme (mus. Scriabin, 1999). Clarke's works are in the repertory of several other companies, including Rambert, Joffrey, American Ballet Theatre, and Nederlands Dans Theater 3, for which she choreographed An Uncertain Hour (mus. Berg, Wolf, Schumann, and Webern, 1995). Clarke has also worked extensively in the theatre and opera. In 1982 she collaborated with actor Linda Hunt on A Metamorphosis in Miniature, which won an Obie award for best American new play, and her subsequent productions include A Midsummer Night's Dream which she directed for American Repertory Theatre in 2004. In 1996 she choreographed and directed Tan Dun's Marco Polo for the Munich Biennale and in 1997 directed Orpheus and Eurydice for English National Opera and New York City Opera.

Subjects: Dance — Theatre.

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