Janis Claxton Dance POP-UP Duets to premiere as part of Bluecoat’s 2018 LightNight programme

POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) is a series of 5-minute, contemporary dance duets designed for a public spaces such as museums, galleries, cafes, libraries. This May Janis Claxton Dance will bring the performances to Liverpool’s Bluecoat as part of LightNight 2018, a festival which for one night only, takes over the city with free arts and heritage events showcasing the cities vibrant cultural offer.

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 by.

This LightNight, Bluecoat will be embracing the 2018 theme of Transformation, by turning into a truly immersive, engaging and interactive realm. Between 6pm-7:30pm POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) will perform a series of contemporary dance duets that will transform Bluecoat’s building and exterior spaces. Each duet is accompanied by an original soundtrack specifically composed for Bluecoat.

The four dancers lined-up for POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) at Bluecoat are Joanne Pirrie, Albert Garcia, Amy Hollinshead and Valerio Di Giovanni. POP-UP Duets is funded by Creative Scotland to tour extensively across Scotland. The company is excited to announce that the tour will be extended to the UK, Asia, Europe and the USA.

Janis Claxton said “POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) has been an exciting success with both audiences and critics. We are delighted to be touring it in 2018 and especially thrilled to be invited to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. It’s a huge honour.”

Laura Cameron-Lewis, Head of Dance, Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is pleased to support the creation, development and tour of ‘POP-UP Duets’ by Janis Claxton Dance. This highly artistic and creative piece of dance presents beautifully crafted duets in public places, where audiences can stumble upon them. Janis Claxton has achieved great success with this work, with 5 star reviews during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, securing a comprehensive tour throughout Scotland in 2018 and the prestigious invitation to bring this work to ‘Jacob’s Pillow Dance’ in America.”


POP-UP Duets premiered in August 2016 in the Grand Gallery of National Museum of Scotland 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.

POP-UP Duets Trailer: https://vimeo.com/188404394

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.

As well as the contemporary dance performances, Bluecoat will open its doors for an evening of music, fun and the chance to get involved in hands on family activities. Spend the evening in the garden with choirs, DJs, live musicians and then refuel with at the outdoor bar and barbecue. Plus the gallery will be open til late, with visitors invited to Spring exhibition, Euphonia by Emma Smith which transforms Bluecoat’s gallery into a sonic chamber, turning the viewer into a participant who is invited to contribute to the sound installation by adding their own voice.