Chaos and Contingency

“Claxton’s company of eight, combining dancers from Scotland and China, moved with an unforced stamina and precision that, like Philip Pinsky’s loopingly percussive score, captured its audiences” ★★★★ –The Herald

“Chaos and Contingency is a thoughtful, beautifully created temporary exhibit, that asks questions about our relationship to science and about human variability” ★★★★ –The Scotsman

“sensitive and subtle performances from the cast, building up tension with the growing swing of a pendulum, until they are leaping and spiralling, the energy barely contained within their bodies” ★★★★ –

“measured and masterful co-ordination is a fine testament to their skill as well as Claxton’s exquisite choreography and vision.” ★★★★ –

“It is hypnotic and kaleidoscopically lovely to watch, transformative and wonderful to see a free event which is as complex as it is ambitious” –ACROSStheARTS

“Chaos and Contingency is a technical triumph” –The Vile Blog


Enclosure 44 – Humans

“You could think of Janis Claxton’s ingenious ENCLOSURE 44 as I’m A Dancer! Get Me Out Of Here, for this is as close to social experiment as dance gets on the Fringe. For seven hours every day, this species, described as one of which we know very little, communicates by movement alone under the baffled gaze of passers-by. This is the first piece of physical theatre I’ve seen that makes children bawl with confusion. In fact, the audience response is as much part of the work as the dancers’ behaviour itself: what’s more enlightening than watching humans watch humans? Don’t miss this brilliant meditation on humans’ domination of the world, our vulnerability and how others might perceive us.” Scotland On Sunday
“Enclosure 44 – Humans was a huge success at this year’s Fringe, garnering more media attention and critical acclaim than anyone could have predicted.” –The List

“Notions of who is the audience and who is the performer are playfully reversed. What provokes the most disruptive thoughts is our reaction? Bold, brilliant. Go.” –The Herald

“It is a genius idea. It says something profound about the human condition, questioning whether we are really that different from animals.” –The Independent

“Arguably one of the most innovative and thought-provoking shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe” –The Scotsman



“Performed to a score by the eclectic Australian trio Waratah, Rinne (Japanese for reincarnation) is based on intricately recurring cycles of beats and inspired by a hummingbird’s flight. Rhythmically this deceptively smooth-and-easy piece is a pleasing, absorbing union of delicacy, detail and determination.” –Dance Europe


“Torque proved what an intelligent dance maker she is.” –The Scotsman

“every gesture has meaning and no moment is wasted.” –Dance Europe

“There are several wonderful moments in Torque, when we’re carried back to Enclosure 44, the remarkable and radical installation piece that Janis Claxton Dance staged in Edinburgh Zoo during this year’s Fringe. Playful moments, tender moments, fraught moments with hands becoming paw-like, heads cocking to one side, bodies hunkering as the dancers inhabited the power shifts and snugglings that Claxton had observed in her zoo researches. Then, as now, the work was far from gimmickry or mimicry. Now Torque, with its live on-stage accompaniment – Bach’s Partita No 2 played, but on viola, by Michael Beeston – reinforces the instinctive humanity that shares in how other animals behave. And on a wry note, it ends with the dancers staring out at us, as in a zoo. Which, like Enclosure 44, raises fascinating questions of why we like to watch, and maybe how we define art, performance, dance.” –The Herald

Songs Are Sung

“At once dark and transparent, stringent and lush, this exquisite piece carries an ecstatic weight. Claxton is tirelessly sensitive to the tensions between the soothing and the neurotic, taking time to explore and reflect the music’s depths and complexities without sacrificing dramatic urgency. Sober, centred and sublime, her work generates a quiet but increasing excitement…The spiritual quality of their collective performance is cumulatively so moving that you can’t help but wonder what Claxton might do with bigger stages and more bodies (and some of them male).” –Dance Europe

“Songs Are Sung, a lovely, elegiac response to Gorecki’s recently released String Quartet No 3. Played live, with spirited caring, by the Edinburgh Quartet, the score saw Claxton and her all-female company mark out episodes of patient waiting, anguished yearnings and wretched, wrenching despair. Yet there was also supportiveness, resilience, as bodies fell, curled into themselves, rose again, which spoke of life force and renewal.” –The Herald

“Most impressive of all, though, was the exquisite use of Gorecki’s emotive score. The dancers gave 100 per cent in a display of grief, torment, comfort and support. Tight synchronicity, athletic tumbles and delicate phrasing conspired to create a passionate work that heralds Claxton as a force to be reckoned with.” –The Scotsman


“The dancing was meticulously controlled but on the edge of breakdown… Claxton held the stage effortlessly for the 25 minutes of her piece.” –Ballet Magazine

“…has the taste and texture of real loneliness.” –The Observer

“A fully felt, intelligently crafted slice of heartache.” –Dance Now

“Claxton’s finesse as a performer anchors us” –The Herald

Burning Centre

“Janis Claxton’s solo Burning Centre was stunning. Grounded and strong, she is certainly someone to look out for on the dance circuit.” –Dance Europe

“Burning Centre is a simple and powerful solo. From the first breath Claxton holds us with her presence. Using only the most vital elements the work is about finding freedom in movement. Nothing more, nothing less.” –Dance Theatre Journal