an international festival of expanded choreography initiated and curated by H2DANCE


Sat 26 Nov 2022, 4 pm
6 Creekside, Deptford
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4pm (40 min) 

5pm (30 min)

Two new solo works by Emilyn Claid (UK) in collaboration with Heidi Rustgaard (NO/UK) and Florence Peake (UK)


Emilyn Claid, queer artist in her 7th decade, transforms in performance, teasing gestures of animal and human, crossing the arc between hunted and hunter, power and pleasure, seeing and being seen. Visually intense and intimate, Skinned is made in collaboration with choreographer Heidi Rustgaard and performed by Emilyn Claid to a newly commissioned score by queer pop producer Planningtorock.

Sections of material from Skinned form part of Emilyn’s new solo show emilyn claid UNTITLED.


“I have squidged my left foot into a block of clay – a heavy, viscous mass  – and I am scraping, clawing, molding clumps of it, slapping on shapes. This task feels erotic, a pleasurable experience, manipulating amorphous bulbous contours, forming an entity that is beginning to resemble the base of gnarled old tree trunk. At the same time, I seem to be sculpting an external manifestation of the painful swelling in my osteo-arthritic left ankle … “ (Claid 2022)

Performed by Emilyn Claid and made in collaboration with choreographer/director Florence Peake.

Sections of material from Material form part of Emilyn’s new solo show emilyn claid UNTITLED.

With and by: Emilyn Claid in collaboration with Heidi Rustgaard and Florence peake
Light and scenography: Rachel Shipp
With music from: PLanningtorock and………..
Producer: Sara TRist
Photo: Heidi Rustgaard

Emilyn Claid

photo portrait of Emilyn Claid
Photo: Timothy Spain

Emilyn Claid’s career stretches back to the 1960s when she was a ballet dancer with the National Ballet of Canada and the 1970s when she was co-founder of X6 Dance Space in London. In the 1980s she was artistic director of Extemporary Dance Theatre and in the 1990s worked as an independent dance artist, creating a range of Arts Council funded touring performances. Emilyn has choreographed for companies such as Phoenix Dance Company and CandoCo Dance Company and has led performance research projects in places such as Auckland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Berlin, Helsinki and Beirut. In 1997 she was awarded a PhD and since 2003 Emilyn has worked as a professor at Dartington College of Arts and at University of Roehampton. In 2020 she resigned from the arena of academia to continue her free-lance career as dance artist, performance maker and psychotherapist.  FALLING through dance and life (Bloomsbury 2021) is her second book, the first being Yes? No! Maybe… (Routledge, 2006).

Making with Mess
My practice is one of living experience, as a queer woman intrigued with the bodily effects of laughter, failure and ageing. In performance-making environments these themes are explored through improvisational one-to-one and group scores.  I might describe my practice as based in a kind of call and response, using gesture, speech and writing to evoke a jumble of stuff that exists in the arc between perception and interpretation. I seek to expand imaginations in this phenomenological space, to sense the impact of encounter, and as a consequence, to notice, unravel, and perhaps innovate, different responsive possibilities. The practice invites us to bring our entire human-ness ­– human mess – to listen, sense, confront and interact.

Underlying the practice is a sensing of body, gravity and ground, as environmental and self-support, as an undoing of the supremacy of verticality and as a foundation from which to meet each other with playful curiosity about difference.

My practice evolves through experiences as a dancer, teacher, performance-maker, writer and Gestalt psychotherapist. I explore the practice within dance and therapeutic settings, while also engaging with research that crosses between the two fields.

Laughter erupts between bodies as a shared gift, undoing the fixed sensibleness of an upright “I”.[1]

Photo: Benedict Johnson

Heidi Rustgaard

Since 1999 Heidi has worked together with Hanna Gillgren under H2DANCE. Working with a transdisciplinary choreographic approach, they have co-created nine full-evening international touring performances co-produced by partners in the UK and Nordic countries. Aside from various shorter works and commissions. In 2018 H2DANCE initiated and has since curated Fest en Fest an international festival of expanded choreography presenting British and Nordic artists in London, Cambridge and Colchester.

Heidi has delivered commissions for The Place, The Victoria & Albert and Natural History Museums in London, Transitions/Trinity Laban, London Contemporary Dance School, and The National Centre for Circus Arts. As a performer, Heidi has worked for companies like Duckie, Clod Ensemble, seven sisters group, Colin Pool, Silence Crossing.

Heidi is currently a lecturer in choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Photo: Christa-Holka

Florence Peake

Florence Peake is a London-based artist who has been making solo and group performance works intertwined with an extensive visual art practice since 1995.

Presenting work internationally and across the UK in galleries, theatres and the public realm, Peake is known for an approach which is at once sensual and witty, expressive and rigorous, political and intimate.

Peake produces movement, interactive sculpture, paintings that use the whole body’s physicality, text, film and drawings which respond and intercept each other to articulate, extend and push ideas. Peake’s work explores notions of materiality and physicality: the body as site and vehicle of protest; the erotic and sensual as tools for queering materiality; the subjective and imagined body as a force equal to those that move in our objective flesh-bound world.