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Contemporary Performance Artist

Contemporary Performance Artist & Theologian
Claire Henderson Davis

2015 – 2018

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 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.

Public workshops
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 workshops take place on Sunday evenings in the cathedral Chapter House/Nave, from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Sunday 24 September:
Climate Change – Challenges & Opportunities, A Chester Response

Sunday 22 October:
50 years from the beginning – Where LGBT+ rights go from here?

Sunday 19 November:
Your Money or Your Life – How can money work for everyone?

Sunday 17 December:
Need a Break From the Christmas Rush?
Try the Chester Cathedral Sound Bath