Interview: Janis Claxton – 'There's a very large audience of contemporary dance-lovers who just don’t know it yet'
Strolling round a museum provides unexpected treats courtesy of choreographer Janis Claxton and her POP-UP Duets
The National Museum of Scotland is the site of Edinburgh-based choreographer Janis Claxton's POP-UP Duets (fragments of love), a series of five-minute dance works featuring a cast of four, a specially composed score by Pippa Murphy, and 2015 Scottish Album of the Year award-winner Kathryn Joseph singing on a couple of the tracks. It all arose from Claxton's desire to 'bring high-quality dance to public places for unsuspecting audiences.' The result, she claims, 'evokes meaning and emotion rather than being a series of lifts and tricks.'
Claxton pretty much lives and breathes dance and performance. 'I was just born a dancing thing,' she says, remembering how she longed to join her older sister's ballet class at age three. The core of her work, however, is teaching what by now must add up to 'tens of thousands of folk in many countries.' What she's learnt in the process is 'that there's a very large audience of contemporary dance-lovers who just don't know it yet. They'll likely never pay to go a theatre, but they do love to experience dance as an audience.' Hence POP-UP Duets.
'I hope the audience will experience a sense of love,' Claxton concludes, 'in any aspect. I hope they have a visceral response to the work, and enjoy its beauty, power and flow.'
National Museum of Scotland, 4–28 Aug (not 6–9, 15–16, 22–23), 3.30pm, free.