Hail The New Puritan – A Film about Dancer Michael Clark

Posted filed underDance, Film, Videos.


Charles Atlas has rendered the creative powers of dancers and choreographers in film, few more vividly than those of Michael Clark.

IN 1984, Charles Atlas made Hail The New Puritan, a film about dancer Michael Clark that is, he says,”more true than a documentary”. It’s a fictional 24 hours in the life of Clark and his company, a subcultural portrait of choreography, clubbing, music, rehearsal, fashion, art, media and sex.

The Age: “One of his cinematic models, Atlas adds, was A Hard Day’s Night (”I stole one scene directly from it”).
Scene from Hail the New Puritan.

Instead of ”explaining” the work of Clark – a Royal Ballet School graduate who had just burst onto the London dance scene at the age of 21, with his own company – Atlas chose another route. ”I don’t really think explanations of dance are that interesting or accurate,” he says, on the phone from London, where he is working on the lighting for a current Clark show. ”I wanted to show the environment in which he created his work, his friends and the youth culture of the day.”
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Hail the New Puritan is one of three Atlas features screening at this year’s Melbourne Festival, part of an extensive program of films about art and its creators.”

Read on at The Age.

Hail The New Puritan

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Much of the music is by The Fall, and Mark E. Smith and Brix Smith appear in a mock interview with Clark. Additional music is provided by Glenn Branca, Bruce Gilbert (of Wire), and Jeffrey Hinton.