Scottish avant-garde dancer. His provocative and outlandish costumes and stage props have earned him as much celebrity as his innovative dance technique. A graduate of the Royal Ballet School, he formed his own company, the Michael Clark Dance Company, in 1984 and became a leading figure in the UK avant-garde dance scene.
His works include Swamp (1986), Because We Must (1987), I Am Curious Orange (1988), Mmm... Modern Masterpiece (1992), incorporating elements of The Rite of Spring, and O (1994), featuring the birth of Apollo in a perspex cube. In 1991 he played Caliban in Peter Greenaway's film Prospero's Books. Injury and personal loss took him out of dance for three years in the late 1990s. His first work for four years, Before and After: The Fall, was presented and toured by the Dance Umbrella festival in 1998. He went on to produce Would, Should, Can, Did (2003).
Clark trained at the Royal Ballet School for four years until the age of 17, when he walked out. He danced with the Ballet Rambert 1979–81, where Richard Alston created works for him. After a summer school with Merce Cunningham and work with the US dancer/choreographer Karole Armitage, Clark set up his own company.
In 2005 he partnered with the Barbican Theatre, London, to produce a trilogy of Igor Stravinsky dances, including a reworking of O (2005), a new version of Mmm (2006), and a new piece based on Les Noces (2007).