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The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at barbican.org.uk

Julie Cunningham on Sarah Kane’s Crave

After ten years with Merce Cunningham and three with the Michael Clark Company, dancer turned-choreographer Julie Cunningham is embarking on a way of working that’s new to her: her production of Sarah Kane’s Crave will be all-female.

‘I wanted to work with all-female performers because I’ve always worked for male choreographers and been in studios where it’s a very male-dominated place,’ she says. ‘I was interested to see what it felt like if it was female-led and a female workspace; how that affected me, what happened in the room and how people felt. It’s something I’ve not been able to do before.’

Cunningham used The Pit space for research and development (R&D), providing an opportunity to experiment during the creation of Crave. ‘It’s been really helpful,’ explains Cunningham, whose To Be Me was at the Barbican in 2016.

‘I was interested to see what it felt like if it was female-led and a female workspace’

‘It’s so important to have the chance to try different ideas but know that people will see the results – it’s not just playing around.’

She adds, ‘When people think about Sarah Kane they think about depression or something that’s shocking or graphic. But we’re finding a lot of lightness and celebration of life and joy within Crave. Something I really love about it is that it shows every possible outcome of human experience from the lowest of the low to the highest heights and everything in between.’

Cunningham pauses.

Laughs.

‘And now I have to communicate that in movement.’

Sarah Kane’s Crave is performed from 10–13 May in The Pit.

Originally published in the May Guide. Words by James Drury.