The National Coal Mining Museum for England hosts exclusive COAL dance and physical theatre workshop with nationally acclaimed and award-winning choreographer and performer Gary Clarke

The National Coal Mining Museum for England are delighted to announce an exclusive COAL Dance and Physical Theatre workshop, led by award-winning dancer and choreographer Gary Clarke on Saturday 6 August. During the three hour workshop (1pm – 4pm) local dance students and graduates will gain an insight into how the choreography of dance illustrates the complex emotions and realities of life in a mining community.

Having embarked on a major national tour with COAL in spring this year, Gary Clarke is returning to his native Yorkshire to hold a COAL Dance and Physical Theatre workshop which he hopes will inspire a new generation of dancers. In addition to the workshop, one of the cast members from the COAL tour will be coming along to deliver monologues relating to women against pit closures.

COAL commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike and reflects Gary Clarke’s own experience of growing up in the Yorkshire coalfields. A riveting dance theatre show, COAL takes a nostalgic but honest look at the hard hitting realities of life at the coal face, the back breaking physical graft and the impact it makes on body and soul, both underground and on the surface. Strong, powerful and emotive, COAL explores the darker underbelly of the mining industry, unearthing the true nature and body wrecking demands of a working class industry now almost completely forgotten.

The performance is based on years of personal research by Gary Clarke including extensive interviews with Anne Scargill - former wife of NUM president Arthur Scargill - and Betty Cook, the founders of Women Against Pit Closures.

Gary Clarke, Artistic Director of COAL, said: “COAL is a direct response to my upbringing in the working class mining village of Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire. It's about trying to capture a time in British history that is too easily forgotten. It is an attempt at keeping the memories of the mining industry alive, an industry that I believe shaped the fabric of our society and how we live our lives today. These communities are at the heart of COAL.”

Jayne Ambrose at the Museum comments: “It is extremely exciting to welcome Gary Clarke to the Museum for this event and we are privileged to have such a talented artist on our doorstep. To see the story of COAL come to life through the medium of dance is so powerful and we hope that the dance students and graduates who take part are inspired to use their background and history as motivation for their own performances.”

Tickets for the workshop are £15 per person and can be booked by emailing or calling 01924 848806.

For information about the Museum, visit or call 01924 848806.

For press information, images and interview requests please contact Sara Merritt at Bonner & Hindley:, 0113 243 4713 -


Editor’s notes

Information about the dance workshop: COAL dance workshop with Gary Clarke

Suitable for Dance student s and graduates 3 hour workshop £15/per person

Saturday 6 August 2016 13.00-16.00

*Option to book an underground tour in the morning: 10.30 and 10.40

Maximum 25 people

Information about the Museum:

• The Museum is free admission

• Free car and coach parking

• Opening hours: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm daily except for 24-26 December and 1 January

• Café open 10am – 4.30pm daily, opening at 9am 16 – 20 February.

• Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times

• Please arrive early to book onto an underground tour, as at busy periods tours are often fully booked by midday

• Temperature underground is 12°C; we strongly recommend warm practical clothing and sensible flat shoes. Unfortunately children under five years old are not permitted on the underground tour

• Indoor play area for children under five

• Disabled facilities include level parking, ramp and disabled toilets with underground tours also available with prior arrangement

For more information please call the Museum on 01924 848806 or email or visit the website at

Information about COAL:

Barnsley born Gary Clarke is an award-winning dancer and choreographer with a national reputation for creating compelling dance theatre that resonates with both audiences and critics.

By far one of Britain’s most exciting contemporary dance artists, Gary’s breadth of knowledge, experience and dynamism result in him being regularly invited to make new work on various scales and perform with leading companies and choreographers. Over the last decade he has worked on a variety of projects with Lea Anderson’s The Cholmondeleys & The Featherstonehaughs, Matthew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures (AMP), Lloyd Newson’s DV8 Physical Theatre, Liv Lorent’s balletLORENT, Candoco Dance Company & Jerome Bel, Retina Dance Company, Nigel Charnock + Company, Bock & Vincenzi, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sadler’s Wells Productions, Maresa Von Stockert & Tilted Productions, New Art Club, Javier De Frutos, Wendy Houstoun, Frauke Redquart Company, Opera North and Compagnie Felix Ruckert.

During 2011 and 2012, he worked as a movement artist alongside Brad Pitt on the Hollywood blockbuster film World War Z. Gary has been making his own work for the past 10 years, which has toured both nationally and internationally, receiving critical and audience acclaim. Gary Clarke Company dancers are: TC Howard, James Finnemore, Alistair Goldsmith, Nicolas Vendange, Joss Carter, Connor Quill and Eleanor Perry

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