Children's Theatre supported by the Lionel Bart Foundation - Shortlisted 2016
Liz Clark trained as a ballet dancer until the age of 17, going on to graduate in Dance at the University of Surrey. Since then she has embraced the discipline in its many forms, as a mother, an artist in residence, a student, a dance development officer and an educator. In 2010 she formed ‘Turned on its Head’ which she now directs, giving her the opportunity to push the boundaries of performance for children under five and their families.
Shiny (currently touring) has enjoyed many accolades including being Dance Umbrella’s first orbital tour of London 2014 and commanding a week-long residency at the Dome in Brighton as its Christmas show. Kate Cross, Artistic Director of The Egg, Bath described it as ‘accessible, cheeky and such a joy!’
Liz’s inclusive vision was born out of her frustration at not being able to take her own non-hearing son to the theatre as he struggled to connect to the performance. ‘Turned on its Head’ aims to explore the parent/child relationship, which is often rich and complex, finding ways in which sensitive and empathetic child-led interaction can be modelled in performative environments. This interaction often leads to surprising theatre, where children authentic responses are valued and showcased alongside the choreography of the performers.
This democratisation of the performance space is the common thread being woven from Shiny into the company's new work 'Sponge'. The show is commissioned and produced by Big Imaginations, and co-commissioned by Spark Arts for children. The show opens at The Just So Festival, Rhode Hall Cheshire and is on tour in Autumn 2016 and Spring 2017.
Liz's practice is also featured in the 'Inspire Me' films of Akram Khans Big Dance Pledge 2016. (see You Tube clip below)