Gary Clarke trained at The Electric Theatre Studios and The Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Since graduating Gary has established himself as an award winning choreographer who has built a national reputation for creating innovative theatrical dance works that entertain audiences throughout the UK and Europe. He has a wealth of choreographic experience in creating site-specific works (in pubs, clubs, graveyards and galleries) as well as full-length productions for stage.
Described by The Times as ‘Outstanding’, Gary’s choreography is thought provoking, visually striking and explores themes in popular and political culture.
Gary has created an impressive body of work to date including Parade (2004) Horsemeat (2006), 2 Men & a Michael (2010), Bagofti (2011) and Menage a Trois (2012) all of which received both critical and audience acclaim and toured extensively both nationally and internationally. His work has been featured in a variety of prestigious festivals and seasons including British Dance Edition, Spring Loaded at The Place, The Edinburgh Festival, Birmingham International Dance Festival, Exposure: Dance at The Royal Opera House, Pulse Fringe Festival, Brighton’s Pink Fringe, Big Dance, Touchwood, Junge Hunde International Theatre Festival, City to City Cabaret, Hull Dance, LABAN Autumn Season, Liverpool’s LEAP Festival and Homotopia.
In 2015 Gary created his first full length mid-scale theatre production titled COAL which was an immediate success playing to sell out audiences in over 30 venues across the country. Hailed by critics as ’emotional dynamite’ COAL won a UK Theatre Award for Achievement in Dance, a Critics Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Company and was nominated for the ETC Knight of Illumination Award.
In 2017, Gary choreographed Opera North’s large scale touring production of Hansel and Gretel and Into The Light for Hull City of Culture as part of LGBT 50. He was commissioned to choreographed a number of large scale productions to commemorate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games including Overworlds & Underworlds in collaboration with The Quay Brothers, Games Time (an outdoor multimedia event involving 800 performers) produced by DEDA, HOME for Birmingham International Dance Festival, The Opening Ceremony for the arrival of The Olympic Torch in Leeds, Just 30! to celebrate 30 years of Yorkshire Dance and The Yorkshire Flock for Big Dance 2012. In the same year, Gary was selected by Dance4 to take part in a European artist exchange programme called Europe in Motion facilitated by choreographer Jonathan Burrows and visual artist Gerald Nestler and featured as part of Brut Imagetanz Festival in Vienna. Following his return, Gary was commissioned by Dance4 to create a large-scale work at Nottingham Contemporary Gallery in collaboration with TC Howard as part of Dance4’s Changing Perceptions Project.
Gary has created many works for other professional and postgraduate companies including: Anjali Dance Company, StopGAP Dance Company, Ascendance REP, Taciturn Dance Company, Ludus Dance Company, Dance Limerick, Surrey Dance Collective, MAP Dance, 12 Degrees North Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Brighton’s People Theatre, Space2 and Edge FWD. He has created work on 3rd year BA students at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Trinity LABAN, Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, Newcastle University, York St John School of Arts, Edge Hill University and Bedford University. He has also created numerous work’s for the Centre for Advanced Training Scheme’s (CAT) at DanceXchange in Birmingham and and Dance4 in Nottingham. Other youth company commissions include Splinters Youth Dance at Dance East, County Youth Dance at The Talisen Arts Centre and Ludus Youth Dance Company.
Gary has collaborated with a number of other artists in the creation and development of his work including renowned choreographers Javier De Frutos, Nigel Charnock and Wendy Houstoun, dance duo New Art Club, cabaret artist The Divine David Hoyle, dramaturg Lou Cope, experimental noise artist Daniel Thomas and one of the world’s most currently celebrated fashion designers Nasir Mazhar.
Gary was the first recipient of the Brian Glover Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performing Arts and Dance and in 2004 was established as a Yorkshire Dance Partner, became Artist in Residence at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and received the Artist Development Award from Danceworks UK which was presented to him by iconic British choreographer Michael Clark. In 2009 he became an Associate Artist at Yorkshire Dance under the LIFT programme and was honoured with The Gary Clarke Dance Award from the Department of Creative Media and Entertainment Industries. In 2011, Clarke was invited by Royal Command to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace held by Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip to acknowledge his outstanding contribution to the arts. In 2017 Clarke was made an Honorary Fellow at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance for his achievements and his contribution to the sector.
Since 2001, Gary Clarke has created over 50 dance works of varying sizes and scales.
Gary has worked, performed and toured for many years with some of the world’s most prolific dance companies and choreographers including Lea Anderson’s The Cholmondeleys & The Featherstonehaughs, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Lloyd Newson’s DV8 Physical Theatre, Liv Lorent’s balletLORENT, Candoco Dance Company, Jerome Bel, Bock & Vincenzi, Retina Dance Company, Nigel Charnock + Company, Frauke Redquart and David Rosenberg / Fuel Theatre, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Maresa Von Stockert & Tilted Productions, Sadlers Wells & Young Vic Productions, TC Howard, Compagnie Felix Ruckert, Polar Produce Productions, Future Cinema and ACE Dance & Music.
Gary has also worked as a movement artist on a number of large scale feature films including World War Z (featuring Brad Pitt), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (featuring Eddie Redmayne) and The Mummy (featuring Tom Cruise) and has also starred in Maximo Parks music video single Brain Cells
His extensive performance experience spans the areas of dance, theatre, film and live art
Gary has built up a wealth of experience in delivering both education and outreach work and he has gained national recognition for his work as a teacher, mentor, speaker and facilitator.
Gary has delivered a number of large scale education and outreach projects in collaboration with various companies and: The BBC 3 and Phoenix Dance Theatre for Frankenstein’s Wedding (An outdoor multi-media live TV event involving 2000 members of the public held live at Kirkstall Abbey – Leeds). The South Bank Centre and The Cholmondeleys for Flag (A participation project involving over 170 participants from around the UK for the re-opening of The Royal Festival Hall). Tate Modern for Quicksilver (An annual site-specific performance project held at the Tate Modern involving over 100 dancers of all ages and abilities and featured as part of The UBS Long Weekend, The Tate Modern 10th Anniversary Celebrations and Big Dance 2010). The Royal Festival Hall for Private View (A site specific performance project with selected schools from Oval, Vauxhall and Pimlico) and West Yorkshire Playhouse for Get Creative! -(An annual large-scale intensive creative course for dis-advantaged youths in Yorkshire, cumulating in a live performance at The Assembly Rooms – Opera North).
Gary teaches extensively at many universities, venues and conservatories nationwide delivering a wide range of classes and workshops that focus on contemporary dance technique, choreography, creative investigation and mock audition processes. He teaches regularly at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance and currently hosts annual apprentice placements for students on The Post Graduate Apprenticeship Scheme.
He is a returning guest teacher at Greenwich Dance Agency (GDA) and The Place (London Contemporary Dance School) as part of their Professional Class Programme.
Gary plays a key role in Dance4’s Centre for Advanced Training Scheme (CAT) where he leads annual auditions as well as numerous workshops and intensives. In 2013 he was the Artistic Director on the Dance4’s Dance for Camera Summer Intensive where he collaborated with film maker Josh Hawkins. In the same year he was invited to be a guest speaker at the Dance UK ‘Launch’ event and guest judge and careers speaker at the National U. Dance and MY Dance Festival held at Nottingham Playhouse.
Gary has been a Choreographic Mentor and Artistic Advisor to both established and emerging dance artists / companies including Lila Dance, Joseph Mercier (Panic Lab), Jordan Massarella Dance, Kate Jackson Projects, Wayne Sables Projects, Gavin Coward and Emma Lansley Dance. In 2012, Gary was appointed as Artistic Mentor for The Non Applicable’s under a 6 month Choreographic Mentorship Programme with Hull Dance and Dep ArtsLtd.
In 2013, Gary was responsible for the re-working and re-staging of Nigel Charnock’s ‘XX’ choreographed on Map Dance (University of Chichester Post Graduate Performance Company).
Between 2003 and 2005 Gary was a workshop leader at secondary schools and FE colleges nationwide for the GCSE and A Level Dance Syllabus set work – ‘Cross Channel’ Choreographed by Lea Anderson.