Claire O’Neil

IMG_1225Claire O’Neil MA Dance (University of Auckland) is a dance maker, performing artist, movement educator, lecturer and dance curator with over 25 years experience within New Zealand and internationally. After 10 years living in Brussels (2000-2011) and completing her masters in 2016, Claire continues to nourish her choreographic practice through her inquiries into dance performance, social behaviours and human development. She intertwines improvisation/contemporary dance techniques, somatic practices and physical theatre to form a base of movement practices that are designed for trained and untrained dancing bodies. She has taught for dance companies, movement centres, schools and freelance dance communities in Belgium, New Zealand, Canada, Reunion Island, Hungary, Slovenia, France, Holland and Norway.

As a performer Claire has worked with many choreographers such as Hans van den Broeck (BE), Michele Noiret (BE) and Douglas Wright (NZ). She featured in Sue Healy’s dance documentary ‘Virtuosi’. As creative director of fidget collective since 2001, Claire has created a series of collaborative works that range from solos (NOWhere 2001, Lost Property Report no.1 2002, Loaded 2006), to fully arts funded and commissioned works  Lost Property 2003 Danse en Vol Festival, Brussels/Montreal –  MTYland, 2008 – 2010 and Lifeworld (in five parts) 2016 with Footnote Dance, (New Zealand tours).  Claire’s choreographic oeurvre fuses her interdisplinary approach in contemporary dance making processes to build conceptual, compositional and interactive performance events that celebrate the individual performer and the community in which the ‘project’ is based.

Claire has initated and organised international exchanges in New Zealand with European dance practioners such as Frank van de Ven/ Body Weather (NL) and Hans Van den Broeck/Settlement Project (BE.

Claire is currently researching and developing a new work ‘Fieldwork for (extra)ordinary folk’ whilst teaching and choreographing in various other projects in Auckland.

Class Description:


Contemporary dance techniques and improvisation practice with Claire O’Neil

Bodyweighting & social choreography intersplices three main interests for the moving and performing body,

  • the technical use, articlation and flow/disruption of the bodyweight via body mechanisms
  • somatic practices and embodied presence
  • performance modes for improvising within ‘socialized’ structures.

These interests are directed/enhanced/grounded by celebrating individual approaches within comprehensive movement exercises, tasks and spatial structures. They recognise different movement languages, thought processes and sensory practice. They bring awareness to relational play with others. They support an ongoing intrigue for contextualizing the motivations of the performing body through considering the social being as an abundant source for movement sensibilites, qualities and interactions.

‘Embodying Sociology towards a Social Choreography’  – Claire’s masters thesis completed in 2015.

Nov 15, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Claire O’Neil