Clarke dances into Anjali as company champion

Published: 17 April 2024
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Thrilled”: Gary Clarke Credit: Josh Hawkins

British dance artist and choreographer Gary Clarke has been appointed company champion of Derby-based Anjali Dance Company.

Anjali, which in 2023 was appointed as artists in residence at its new home Déda, works to help people with learning disabilities to establish themselves as dance artists in their own right.

Clarke is currently artistic director of Gary Clarke Company, one of Arts Council England’s new national portfolio organisations, which tours both nationally and internationally.

He said, “I’m thrilled to be collaborating with Anjali Dance Company as their new company champion as they step into an exciting phase of development.

“Inclusivity, visibility and diversity are an integral part of our sector growth and I believe Anjali is at the forefront of breaking down barriers for dance and disability. The company's rigour, professionalism, artistic flair and integrity are all qualities of which we can learn from as we aim to grow into a more progressive and well-rounded industry.”

Clarke has created stage and site-specific work for a number of companies and organisations including the National Theatre, Opera North, Sky Arts, Akademi, Hull City of Culture and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

His performance credits include work with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Lloyd Newson’s DV8 Physical Theatre, Sadler's Wells Productions, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Candoco Dance Company. In 2017 Clarke was appointed an honorary fellow of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Anjali Dance Company’s director Alex Henwood commented, “Gary’s skills and commitment will be a great asset to us which will help drive the company’s artistic vision.”

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