Claire Cunningham is a multi-disciplinary performer and choreographer based in Glasgow. Her unique performance style integrating the dynamic and imaginative use of her crutches, alongside her beautiful voice (she trained as a classical singer), aerial and acting skills have made her a much-sought after performer both in the UK and internationally. Her body of works have been critically acclaimed for their humorous and intelligent challenges to issues of aesthetics and dance.
We asked Claire to tell us why mentoring has been important for her career development:
“I think that mentorship can take many forms – it can be a formal relationship with documented aims and outcomes, a paid agreement and professional service. It can even be remote – in the form of role models, people who inspire us from far away and that we perhaps never even meet. The mentors in my life – and there have been many, flow in and out of my life in different stages, and often overlap. Some have simply been friends, other have been people I work with –and by working with them, by them simply doing what they are good at and bringing me in on that, I have absorbed their practices and ethos.
Others have been people I have sought out and specifically asked to ‘mentor’ me, to be there to talk to, to observe how I’m working, or indeed how I’m perhaps talking about how I’m working, and feed that back to me. To advise, when necessary, and give opinion (when asked for it). The recurring theme for me in all this is how these people have, by looking from their own viewpoints at me, but without judging or criticizing me, have shown me a new perspective on myself, and on the context I am viewing myself within.”
You can watch Claire talk further about this here: