Claire Cunningham @ Unity Theatre


Emoji summary: 🔶🕳⬛️

Claire Cunningham's Give Me a Reason to Live at Unity Theatre, Liverpool.

Plain text version is below the scans:

scan of a notebook that has text about the exhibition but also lines that follow the dancer as she moves

more writing, and then a scratchy vague image of Claire as she stands with her crutches, starting to shake the longer she stands

more notes, neater this time, plain text version below the images by the way

and the end of the notes with a concluding emoji summary drawn roughly - an orange diamond shape, a black hole, and a black square too

plain text version:

(I’m going to make notes here rather than make notes on my phone because this is the theatre n i don’t want to annoy anyone with light - except i can’t see what I’m writing now lol)

She is making shapes

Like fidget tests, and maybe the first time I saw Claire Cunningham perform it was verbal, maybe then i heard her theory - in this, her theory is mechanised, oscillating, her hands are wide-eyed and i can see how artists draw movement.

She is strong and swimming.

I'm worries about the moments she looks sorry. I know this is character.

I wonder how costume design was reached. She is taking off this, folding it.

I couldn’t write because Claire put her crutches on the floor and stood until she couldn’t stand i think. I thought maybe she was deliberately shivering until considered reality (theatre so ok fair enough).

I love the singing and the horrible specific drama of it

What I didn’t notice is that my boyfriend cried throughout the performance. He told me to write that the first time she looked at the audience she was upside-down.

It ended, and there’s a Q&A in ten minutes and i’m excited to know why. What are people going to ask and how do they know they will ask things? Are there normally Q&As after plays/performances? Omg i love the clarity and generosity.

(I know i’m gonna scan these pages. It can be a review.)

I liked it and i thought it was good. Two different things, There was a kid and his Dad in front of me, and when it started and Claire was pulsing in a corner on the stage, he looked at his Dad and back to her and back at his Dad 9 million times, and said in a loud whisper


the performance was a formation of emotional faith and corporeality and also the painter Hieronymus Bosch ;;; the handout said she acts roles of beggars and cripples as ‘possible symbols of sin’

Now it’s the Q&A

Disabled arts as the new event-garde - Ruth, Dadafest organiser.

(I hate writing at the bottom of a page, PTO)

Q&A things:

this piece was commissioned as work and choreography to commemorate Bosch’s 500 years death-iversary.

I like that artists perform and then come back into the room we’re all in. Back in the room. I wanna go where they go.)

Bosch’s work —> in which disability is a sin, and the disabled person must be cured by repentance. (i got this in the play, when I noticed how she looked sorry. How she struggled in this guilt, because the guilt is ordered. 5 points for me.) It was really nice to write in the dark.

’Sincere living.

The vertical people go to Heaven, the bent and crippled go to Hell.

When are you bent in penitence, and when are you bent in oppression?’

CC, u good.

‘let go of words’

….. Bottom of the page /…..

Isn’t this what art should be? not KFC buckets in galleries?

She knows so much, like, she has really researched the history and culture of empathy/how it is measured and presented, instigated, asked for. She makes me respect history. I forget to do that. I want to open art books with big plates and political criticism and theory. She makes me think about Church, politics too, and class. She makes me like: [a shape]

Do this shape with my thinking, how the disabled identity is framed by so much.

Oh, now she is talking about her movement when she stands without crutches - prove what you cannot do’, because disabled insurance and ‘legitimacy’ is qualified and certified by a test:

Can you walk 20 meters? 50? It used to be 50, i think she said. `so, so many people lost their ‘official’ disabled identity.

God. Prove what you cannot do. Think about that horrible and unnecessary politic.

I’m sorry i didn’t quite believe it - I thought it was fictionally dramatic - hehe i am part of the problem. V glad i’m in the audience.

Her standing moment. She is talking now about exposure, I’m just making notes as she talks and has exchanges with the audience.

Lol I love her.

She said it’s fine if people fall asleep during her performance, because it means she has made a comfortable and slow enough space to allow for sleep. Sleep context.

| she is not precious about her practice, or she is,

| but she is not embarrassed by her own quality.

| That’s so confident and secure.

’This is going to take the time that it takes’; ‘crip time’; she is interested in duration in performance because of this necessity and care in taking your time.

I am always going to go to Claire Cunningham things. She is a real artist. (like, she has instance and care, knowledge and influence; is porous and influence; and skilled and sincere; and has total formal sincerity, and also elasticity. She stretched her choreography and movement. So many artists do the same thing like OOOOO. Claire can change shape and make shapes bigger, and think about her whole practice/self-conscious and productive breadth.

Inherently radical but then, radical too. Like

Someone in the audience said dance defied gravity, and Claire evaded gravity in so many ways/that architects and engineers should be in this audience.

Omg the kid in front of me asked a question.

He said, ‘When did you start doing what you do?’ haha.

Notice he didn’t say dance, he really hesitated.

The music was important, but that’s even harder for me to write about. Just emotional lol. Like Historically emotional (I feel bad i didn’t notice my bf for crying. it put him in a state like), rather. Ornate, heavy, and shadowy. Oh. The Q&A is coming to a close.


What is the emoji summary.

Orange diamond shape, black hole, aerated black square.

good  night xxxxxx