BiographyJanis Claxton was an award-winning choreographer and internationally renowned teacher with over 30 years of international experience spanning a wide variety of dance and theatre credits. Though she was born in Australia, she had lived in Scotland since 2005, and was thus enormously proud when her company became only the second Scottish group in history to be invited to perform at Jacob’s Pillow (following the Celtic Ballet of Scotland in 1954). Her training began in her native Brisbane at age 3, and she cited her studies with American choreographer Erick Hawkins as a formative early experience. Her award-winning POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) was described as "the choreographic standout" of the 2016 Edinburgh Festival, and it was this work that was selected to be presented for a weeklong series of site-specific performances at Jacob’s Pillow and in nearby communities in 2018. Claxton was diagnosed with lung cancer in the spring of 2018 and was thus unable to accompany her dancers when they made their U.S. debut at the Pillow in June. She followed news of the U.S. performances closely and commented, “So humbled to have our work at this historic magical sacred venue!” as the Pillow engagement came to a close. She died in early September 2018 at the age of 53.
Source of BiographyWritten by Norton Owen for Jacob's Pillow Remembers.