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Press Release: POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) to turn heads in Australia and New Zealand.

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Janis Claxton Dance


POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) to turn heads in Australia and New Zealand.

·POP-UP Duets on the line-up for WOMADelaide and WOMAD New Zealand next month. 

·New performances mark first major appearances since the passing of choreographer Janis Claxton.

·BOLD Conference in Canberra announces Claire Hicks as giving the inaugural BOLD Lecture, established in memory of Janis Claxton. 

·2018 saw the company travel across USA, Singapore, Germany, Sweden and Spain, England and of course Scotland. 

★★★★★ The Herald ★★★★ The Observer ★★★★ The Times

★★★★ The Scotsman

  • Janis Claxton was Winner of the Herald Archangel Award 2018
  • Creative Edinburgh Collaboration Award + The Observer ‘Best Dance of 2016’ 
  • 2017 ISPA Pitch New Works New York Congress + British Council Edinburgh Showcase Pitch






“LET'S not mess about: everything about POP-UP Duets is inspired. This is, at every level, a richly inventive, wonderfully perceptive work, danced with a persuasive humanity to a score you want to own” ★★★★★ The Herald

Janis Claxton Dance is delighted to share that it will appear as part of WOMADelaide and WOMAD NZ next month. 


Since its creation by choreographer Janis Claxton in 2016, POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) has been in demand around the world. March sees the work and the company’s Australian and New Zealand debuts.


POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) is a series of 5-minute, contemporary dance duetsdesigned for a wide range of public spaces such as museums, galleries, cafes, libraries etc.


Bringing together the talents of award winners Janis Claxton (choreographer) and Pippa Murphy (composer) with four world-class dancers, POP-UP Duets is designed to emerge from public situations to be enjoyed by invited as well as accidental audiences who find themselves passing.


As part of the WOMAD festivals in Australia (8-11 March) and New Zealand (15-17 March) they will pop up across the festival sites, sitting alongside music, dance and arts acts including Angélique Kidjo, Christine & the Queens, Fatoumata Diawara, The Original Gypsies, Mojo Juju and Liz Phair.

The four dancers performing for POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) are Joanne Pirrie, Albert Garcia, Amy Hollinshead and Valerio Di Giovanni.


In Canberra on 15 March, the BOLD Conference will close with the inaugural BOLD Lecture to be given by Claire Hicks. The BOLD Lecture will become the closing lecture for each BOLD Festival in memory of the fabulous and ground-breaking Janis Claxton. 


In 2018 POP-UP DUETS, funded by Creative Scotland toured extensively across Scotland. It also popped-up across the UK, Asia, Europe, and the USA - with a prestigious invitation to bring the work to Jacob’s Pillow (home to the longest-running dance festival in the United States, founded by American modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn, where artists like Mark Morris and Alvin Ailey have created or premiered work), is highly sought after. Janis Claxton Dance is the first Scottish group to perform at Jacob’s Pillow since the Celtic Ballet of Scotland, founded by Margaret Morris, made its U.S. debut at the Pillow in 1954.


Further international appearances saw Janis Claxton Dance performing alongside L-E-V Dance Company and Ballet Preljocaj at the Singapore International Festival of Arts in April, at Sweden’s Malmo Summerfest and Lund’s Sommarlund in July, Tanzmesse in Germany and at Lincoln Center Out of Door’s Festival in New York.


Jo Pirrie, dancer with Janis Claxton Dance said “POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) has been an exciting success with both audiences and critics. We’ve enjoyed surprising audiences around the world many of whom have seen nothing like this emerge from their foyer, park, gallery or museum. We are delighted to continue touring it in 2019 and especially thrilled to be invited to WOMADelaide and WOMAD New Zealand.”


"Janis Claxton is a dance-maker at the top of her technical game, with a rare emotional intelligence" ★★★★ THE OBSERVER

POP-UP Duets Trailer


The work is made up of 8 stand-alone duets drawing on the theme of love through elegant and dynamic contemporary dance that evolves from simple everyday interactions. Each duet is accompanied by a track of original music specifically composed for the choreography by Pippa Murphy with vocals by Scottish Album of the Year Award winner, Kathryn Joseph.


POP-UP Duets premiered in August 2016 in the Grand Gallery of National Museum ofScotland as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase for Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In March 2017 POP-UP Duets had an International premier at the Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival where the work was re-created with two UK and two Taiwanese dancers for a variety of public spaces.


Janis Claxton Dance is delighted to be partnering with Vivo Barefoot who now provide the company with shoes the dancers love. @vivobarefoot #livebarefoot



POP-UP Duets is supported by Creative Scotland through the Made in Scotland Onward Touring Fund.






Media Quotes about POP-UP Duets:

“At the Edinburgh Festival, the choreographic stand-out was Janis Claxton’s small but beautifully formed POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) The Observer, Luke Jennings: best dance of 2016

"A series of beautiful but fleeting moments in time….playful yet understated, captivating yet subtle, the movement feels as natural as breathing on the dancers" ★★★★ THE SCOTSMAN

' short but sweet duets - romantic, playful and always well-crafted- for four fine and extremely lithe dancers.' ★★★★ The Times






Janis Claxton Dance founded in the UK in 2003, is a leading Scottish based contemporary dance company renowned for producing high quality innovative works including for touring in small-mid scale venues and site specific performance events for unique spaces. With a strong research base to the choreographic work, the company has collaborated with Edinburgh Zoo and Edinburgh International Science Festival on large scale works in the Edinburgh Zoo, Shanghai Expo and Scotland’s major galleries bringing exciting contemporary dance to tens of thousands of new audiences. 

Janis Claxton Dance has received support from Creative Scotland, British Council, Confucius Institute for Scotland and the Scottish Government as well as other arts organisations in the UK. 


Joanne Pirrie

Joanne trained at the Dance School of Scotland, Bird College and New English Contemporary Ballet School. She represented Scotland in CulturAtlantic Project, Gelabert/Azzopardi Dance, Spain. She work includes for: Yorke Dance Project (touring works by Sir Kenneth MacMillan and Robert Cohan); Barrowland Ballet; Janis Claxton Dance; Cohan Collective; Errol White Company; Stephen Pelton; Diana Loosmore; Underhand Dance; High Heart Dance; Ampersandance; Pasodos; Kevin Turner; Malgorzata Dzierzon; and Cagoule Productions. Dance on screen includes: BBC; The Outlander; Belle & Sebastian; and Strange Attractors directed by Marie Liden. 

Albert Garcia

Born in Spain, Albert trained classically at the Conservatori Superior de Dansa Illes Balears, before training in contemporary dance at the Conservatori Superior de Dansa de l’Institut del Teatre in Barcelona. 

Over his career to date Albert has worked with Nunzio Impellizzeri Dance (Switzerland), Cascade Dance Theater, James Cousins Company, Gwyn Emberton Dance (UK) Icosaèdre Dance Compagnie (France), IT Dansa Jove Companyia (Barcelona), and Tanzkompanie Oper Graz (Austria). Besides his dance experience, Albert is fully qualified practitioner of energy and body-work techniques. 

Amy Hollinshead

Amy born and raised in Staffordshire, England and completed her professional training at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. During this time she performed in works by Kenneth MacMillan and Mark Baldwin and also danced Itzik Galili's A Linha Curva with Rambert Dance Company. Upon graduating, Amy joined Scottish Dance Theatre in 2013 under the direction of Fleur Darkin. Whilst there she worked with a number of choreographers including Jo Strongrem, Jorge Crecis, Damien Jalet, Henri Oguike, Anton Lachky, Botis Seva and Sharon Eyal.

Valerio Di Giovanni 

Born in Italy, at 17 Valerio started professional training at “Balletto di Toscana”, joined the junior company directed by Cristina Bozzolini and Agora coaching project directed by Michele Merola/Enrico Morelli. At 19 he joined Dantzaz Konpainia directed by Adriana Pous. He has performed throughout Europe.Valerio has premiered works by Itzik Galili, Lukas Timulak, Jone San Martín, Karl Alfred Shreiner, Giuseppe Spota, Judith Argomaniz and repertoire by Jacek Przybylowicz, Jacopo Godani, Jean Christophe Maillot, Izadora Weiss, Victoria P. Miranda, Janis Claxton, Wubkje Kuindersma, Fabrizio Monteverde

Composer Pippa Murphy

As a composer Pippa has been involved in performances, recordings, collaborations, installations and multimedia work in the UK and abroad. She has written music for BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3, BBC SSO, Scottish Opera, Hanoi Contemporary Music Ensemble, St Magnus Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Celtic Connections, Scottish Flute Ensemble, Paragon Ensemble, Aberdeen Art Gallery and for numerous contemporary theatre companies including Birmingham Rep, Dundee Rep, Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Traverse Theatre Company, Edinburgh, 7:84. Fire Exit/David Leddy, Janis Claxton Dance.

Pippa’s works are multi-layered and multi-sensory. Some pieces draw on the full effects of combining sound design with orchestras and voices. Her music has an immediacy, which is often dramatic and expressive. She is particularly interested in vocal techniques, phonemes, electronica and ‘found’ sound, her training in Indian Classical music informs many of her works.

Choreographer Janis Claxton

Based in Scotland, Janis was a multi-award winning choreographer and the Artistic Director of Janis Claxton Dance. Known for her diverse and unique works and her abilities to craft exquisite material with world-class dancers, Janis worked as a choreographer, teacher and movement director internationally including for Scottish Opera, Dantzaz, National Theatre of Scotland, Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival, Beijing Dance/LDTX, National Dance Company of Wales, Beijing Dance Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival, National Museum of Scotland, Beijing Dance Academy, UK NOW Festival China, World Expo Shanghai, Back to Back & Lung Ha Theatre Companies, Sichuan Peoples Art Theatre, and many more. Renowned for her inspiring teaching Janis’s teaching included for; Scottish Dance Theatre, Skanes Dance Theatre, London School of Contemporary Dance, Beijing Dance Academy, Queensland University of Technology, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, South-East Asian Choreolab, Dance Academy Arnhem. Janis passed away in September 2018.

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