In a starkly beautiful dance of transcendence and struggle, renowned UK performer Claire Cunningham delves into the work of medieval Dutch painter Hieronymous Bosch, to explore religion, religious art, and the judgment of souls and bodies.
Through tests of both body and faith, Give Me a Reason to Live draws upon imagery of disabled people in Bosch’s apocalyptic paintings to question our present perspectives on “otherness” and “difference”. It is also a potent memorial to the disabled victims of both the Nazis’ euthanasia program and the UK government’s current ‘welfare reform’.
Cunningham’s work is often rooted in the use/misuse of her crutches, seizing space and physicality to create an aesthetic entirely her own. Powerfully physical, visually striking, and set to a mesmerising score, Give Me a Reason to Live invites us to consider our own empathy, sympathy or indifference, in a work of both generosity and brutal immediacy.
Choreography & Performance: Claire Cunningham
Lighting Design: Karsten Tinapp
Sound Design: Zoë Irvine
Cello: Matthias Herrmann
Costume: Shanti Freed