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

 

  • Enclosure 44 Humans (Fringe 2008) Herald Angel Award winning durational performance based in a zoo’s animal enclosure.
  • Enclosure 99 Humans (Fringe 2011) – a recreation at Edinburgh Zoo with dancers from UK & China.
  • Human Animal (2010/11) – interactive performance installation bringing the zoo to you! as the dancers inhabit large Perspex boxes situated in a gallery, park or other public space.

These groundbreaking works are based around Janis Claxton’s extensive research into the connection of the human species with other animals, in particular the primates and our closest relatives the other great apes.

“A brilliantly subtle reminder of how genetically close to the (other) apes we are.” –The Times

The works began in 2008 with the Herald Angel Award-winning “Enclosure 44 – Humans” that saw 5 dancers inhabit an enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo every day for 2 weeks:

Enclosure 44 – Humans from Janis Claxton Dance on Vimeo.

In 2011 the recreation  “Enclosure 99 -Humans,” was a cultural exchange and conversation when 5 dancers from the UK inhabited an enclosure with 5 dancers from China:

Enclosure 99 – Humans from Janis Claxton Dance on Vimeo.

Janis worked with Zoo Keepers, Primatologists and academics over several years studying the connections of human and animal gesture, communication and behaviour, creating works that are poetic, insightful, entertaining and educational.

These groundbreaking works, revealing the nature of the animal within us all, have been acclaimed by critics, audiences and scientists alike.

“It is a genius idea. It says something profound about the human condition.” –The Independent

Some of the 4 & 5 Star Reviews

Download Watching the Watchers – Janis Claxton Dance.pdf

Audience responses


Human Animal Beijing

In 2009 Janis Claxton visited China on a British Council Connections Through Culture Grant. Human Animal Beijing was a collaboration with Janis Claxton and Shu Yang Artistic Director of the DaDao Live Art Festival performed under the floor of the renowned 798 Art Space:

Humanimal Beijing from Janis Claxton Dance on Vimeo.

Human Animal Beijing: Gallery


Human Animal Shanghai

In 2010 Janis Claxton Dance performed Human Animal Shanghai in the Urban Park of the award winning UK Pavilion Shanghai Expo: View video here

Human Animal Shanghai: Gallery


Press Quotes

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

“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

“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

“Claxton and her company have put together a truly interactive show on many levels and one of the most fun parts is to stand back and watch the various crowd reactions. Enclosure 44 is an experimental study in who we are and what makes us both similar and different to other animals.” –Evening News

“Enclosure 44 – Humans, a novel, questioning and entertaining installation performance set in the Edinburgh Zoo.” –Dance Europe

“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

“Claxton and her company have put together a truly interactive show on many levels and one of the most fun parts is to stand back and watch the various crowd reactions. Enclosure 44 is an experimental study in who we are and what makes us both similar and different to other animals” –Evening News

“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