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‘Everything Crossed Over’: Michael Clark’s Cheeky World of Dance

Oct 02, 2020 - The New York Times

The British choreographer and provocateur, now 58, is the subject of an eye-popping exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery.

LONDON — Dancer, choreographer, ex-heroin addict, prodigal son, perfectionist, art-world darling, club-world star: Michael Clark was for a long time the enfant terrible of British dance. Today he is 58 and the subject of a comprehensive exhibition, “Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer,” at the Barbican Art Gallery that surveys his career and extensive collaborations.

The visual splendor of the exhibition, which opens Wednesday, vibrantly displays the pop-culture thrills of Mr. Clark’s arrival on the scene in London in the early 1980s. With eye-popping graphics (“Enjoy God’s Disco” reads an early flyer for his company in Coca-Cola red and white), film installations and high-flyer art-world contributions, the exhibition evokes a moment in which dance wove itself into the fabric of a newly charged youth cul...