MacArthur Fellows Program

Martha Clarke

Theater Director and Choreographer | Class of 1990

Theater Director and Choreographer
Sherman, Connecticut
46 at time of award
Published August 1, 1990

About Martha's Work

Martha Clarke is a theater director and a choreographer whose works unify graphic and literary arts with avant-garde performance techniques.

Her pieces are highly pictorial, exhibiting deliberate movements and craftsmanship through music, text, visual images, and dance.  Her works include A Metamorphosis in Miniature (1982), The Garden of Earthly Delights (1984), Vienna: Lusthaus (1986), Miracolo d’Amore (1987-88), Endangered Species (1990), and Vers la Flamme (1999).  Clarke collaborated with Christopher Hampton to create and direct Alice’s Adventures Underground (1995) for the Royal National Theater, and created An Uncertain Hour (1995) for Lincoln Center and the Netherlands Dance Theater.  She directed Mozart’s Magic Flute and Così Fan Tutte at Glimmerglass Opera (1995), and the world premiere of Tan Dun’s opera, Marco Polo, at the Munich Biennale (1996).


Clarke has choreographed for the Nederlans Dans Theater, the Joffrey Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, the Rambert Dance Company, and Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project, among many others.  Clarke was a founding member of Pilobolus Dance Theater (1972-1978) and co-founded Crowsnest (1978).

Clarke began dance training at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the age of six.  She studied at the American Dance Festival (1959-61) and graduated from the Juilliard School of Music (1965).

Last updated January 1, 2005

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