Claire Henderson Davis is a contemporary dancer/choreographer and theologian and author of After the Church: Divine Encounter in a Sexual Age (Canterbury Press). The aim of her residency here at Chester Cathedral is to create new work, engaging with the life of the cathedral and wider community and to facilitate new forms of participation, opening the cathedral up to a wider cross section of people.
You can contact Claire by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She would love to hear from you!
Anima is a contemporary dance interpretation of Marcel Dupré’s Symphonie-Passion, a striking and original piece of organ music. The work is choreographed by Claire with Bettina Carpi, Chester-based dance artist and choreographer. Anima was performed in the cathedral on 10 April 2017 by Claire and Bettina with a company drawn from the cathedral and local community, and students from Chester University Dance Department. Symphonie-Passion is played on the cathedral organ by Philip Rushforth, Director of Music for Chester Cathedral.
Watch Anima here
Claire created Lament, a short piece, which engaged with the David Mach sculptures Golgotha. It was performed on 1 May 2016 by Claire and 16 community performers of all ages.
“To me, the figures on the crosses look like they are hanging from the beams of bombed-out buildings in some war zone scene of devastation” says Henderson Davis. “They speak powerfully of the pain and suffering of so many people throughout the world today.”
Working with this theme of devastation, Claire uses the plainsong version of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, sung by members of Chester Cathedral Choir, which recount the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, to create a stark and simple piece focusing on ordinary moments of relationship in the face of grief and loss.
The Chester Cathedral Public Workshop series, initiated by Claire, and offered in partnership with Chester Voluntary Action, is a space where we can practice community building and explore together the nature of human flourishing. Everyone is welcome – of any faith or none.
The first of 2018’s workshops has passed – ‘Not the Daily Mail: Refugees Welcome Here!’ on Sunday 28 January. Please check back for details of further workshops during the year – or follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date – @ChesterCath