Artist Statement


I am a choreographer and dancer living in the Scottish Borders .

My current interest is in working with movement improvisation and choreographic practice as a way into considering how we ‘dwell’ in the world.

Choreography sets ideas in motion and can move beyond words to create space for other ideas to emerge. It offers a  practice that is transitory, embodied and fleet of foot. It encourages thinking on and through your feet, suggests alternative vocabularies and is about responding to and being in relationship to – a person, place, object, activity or an idea – at a given time, season and place.

My work reveals itself in different ways – as performance, writings from improvisation, scores, moving image installation, thinking through materials, events, workshops, an approach to collaborative and cross- disciplinary working and creative leadership.

I am interested in field work, studio practice and in collaborative working across different fields of practice.

I work from The Bakery Studio in Jedburgh and am currently studying for a PhD at Northumbria University.

Download CV as PDF  claire-pencak-cv-2016


Curriculum Vitae

Education and Training

MA Dance Studies Laban Centre for Movement and Dance, London

BA (Hons) English Literature and Anthropology, Oxford Polytechnic


Recent Projects

River Ways: A Future Heritage for Hawick  September 2017

An artist led programme of community engagement for Hawick Community Energy Group


In-the-Making Collective  2016 – present

A dancer led initiative – a shifting assemblage of dancers and other artists – a structure for unpredictable encounters. In – the -Making Collective is an experiment around processes of making, multi- authorship and shared leadership.


Mushroom! Gayfield Square Spaces, Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Swings and Roundabouts Dance Base, National Centre for Dance, Edinburgh Fringe 2017

CABN Creative Arts Advocate (Collaboration and Place-making) May 2011 – present. Working with other art form advocates and the CABN Creative Leader to support and advocate for the creative sector in the Scottish Borders with a specific remit for the performing arts community, collaborative working and place making. Creative Advocate

Independent dancer 2014 – present. Working with Dudendance, Merav Israel and Audicia Lynne Morley

Practising Deep Time Group Residency, Timespan, Helmsdale, November 2016

Research and Development of Deep Time in relationship to the peatland Flow Country, Neolithic Burial Sites and the Nuclear sites at Dounreay.

Make/Shift  2016 A platform and forum for choreographic research engaging with refugees. A collaboration with choreographer Tim Rubidge , film maker Christo Wallers and Crossings, Newcastle.

Artistic Director, Tabula Rasa 1999 – 2016

Tabula Rasa was an artist- led project based company that shifted from a company that created and toured contemporary dance productions to being a platform for collaborative working across fields of practice.


 Projects 2010 – 2015

Dispatches from the Source: (Creative Scotland Artist Bursary)  May 2014 – May 2015: An extended period of choreographic development and thinking  developing an ecological approach to dance making through an  exploration of river ecologies and in particular research into ideas around river sources and source materials. The research was undertaken with dancers Tim Rubidge and Merav Israel, film maker Christo Wallers and composer Matt Collings. Choreographer

Stone Lives June 2014 Collaboration with environmental artist Kate Foster supported by the University of Aberdeen as a Speculative Ground project for the Association of Social Anthropology Decennial conference: Anthropology and Enlightenment, Edinburgh Choreographer

Working the Tweed March 2013 – Feb 2014  A Year of Natural Scotland/Scottish Borders LEADER project looking closely at the River Tweed and its tributaries through a frame of human involvement. A collaboration between river specialists and artists.  Lead Artist and Project Manager

The Pollination Project, Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University Feb 2013 – Nov 2014 Creation of an e-book report on the value and potential role of Creative Residencies in an academic setting. Researcher/writer

Between the Web and the Loom Sept 2013 – December 2014. A digital dance installation created in collaboration with textile artist, Joan Baxter, film maker John McGeoch, dancer Shamita Ray and composer James Wyness. Presented at Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival; Yarrow, Ettrick and Selkirk Arts Festival; British Dance Edition (Tramway, Glasgow); Aberdeen Art Gallery; An Lanntair, Stornoway; and in Delhi and Chennai, India.   Funded by Creative Scotland. Choreographer/Project Manager

Chartless Rudderless Night Sept 2013 – December 2014. A digital dance installation created in collaboration with dancers Merav Israel and Will Thorburn, film maker John McGeoch and composers Alessandro Altavilla and Helen Papiannnou. Presented at Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival; the Lighthouse Museum, Fraserburgh/Dance Live and Papay Westray. Funded by Creative Scotland.Choreographer/Project Manager

Fetlock Deep  January – November 2012 A public engagement project in collaboration with the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles. A celebration of the equestrian culture in the Scottish Borders. Creative Director

Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence, Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University  Jan 2012 – Dec 2012 A collaboration with social scientists, scientists, dancers and beekeepers focusing on the sensory aspects of knowledge exchange and improvisation as a tool for learning. Artist in Residence

Choreographic Fellowship 20102011 Awarded by Scottish Arts Council. The themes of the fellowship were space, place and location and included research in Orkney, Shetland and Iceland. Choreographer

Fundaçio Ruivo Provo, Faro, Portugal   2010   Creation of a two new works – Archipelago / Current Affairs. Guest Lecturer


 Projects 1991 – 2009

The Sudden Project 2009 Research Project. Collaboration with Ian Spink, Peacock Visual Arts Choreographer

Lisbon Diaries Tabula Rasa 2009 Dance Live! Choreographer

Esçola Superior de Dança, Lisbon, Portugal , 2007 and 2008 . Creation with the students of two new devised performances for young audiences. Party Party! and No Sotao (In the Attic) Guest Lecturer

Dilly Dilly Tabula Rasa  2007 – 2008 UK/International tour including Made in Scotland; Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, London; Krokus Festival, Belgium and Tanzhaus, Dusseldorf. Choreographer/Project Manager

 Hlysnan Tabula Rasa 2007 Dance Live!  Choreographer

The Winter Room Tabula Rasa 2006 Scottish Tour and British Dance Edition Choreographer /Project Manager

An Dealbh Mor Jan –March 2006 Combined arts performance project with Sleat Primary School, Skye. Lead Artist: Julie Brook and Kath NicLeoid Choreographer

The Crossing: Research Project 2004-2006.  Collaboration with Jo Clifford (writer), Lisa Mackenzie (landscape architect) and Peter Nelson (Composer) around the theme of Peatlands. Funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation Choreographer/Project Manager

Huff Puff and Away! Tabula Rasa 2004 UK Tour Choreographer

The Bright Eyed Mariner Tabula Rasa 2004 Scottish Tour Choreographer

Vis a Vis/Face to Face  Tabula Rasa 2003 Scottish Tour Choreographer

The Birdcatcher Tabula Rasa 2002 UK Tour Choreographer/Project Manager

One Crowded Hour Tabula Rasa 2001 Scottish Tour Choreographer/Project Manager

Openwork/The Listeners/Realisation of the Inner Parts Tabula Rasa 2000 Choreographer/Project Manager

Screenworks Commission, Openwork 2000 Choreographer

Angus Artists in Schools Scheme 1999- 2002 Residencies in rural and urban primary schools in Angus Choreographer

Padma Menon Dance Company, Australia 1997- 1998 Dancer

Shiftwork Physical Theatre Company, Aberdeen 1993-1996 Co-Director and Performer

City Moves Dance Project, Aberdeen, 1991 – 1993 Dance Artist in Residence


 Talks and Workshops 2014 – present


Contributor to a talk by Kate Foster : Working the Tweed BUND/Friends of the Earth (Germany) Conference (via Skype)

Workshop: Extending Practice: Choreography and Sustainability for Creative Carbon Scotland

Talk: The Crossing for Borderlands#2, Borderlands Network. The Stove, Dumfries


Talk: The Power of Collaboration, MAC Arts, Galashiels for NAWE

Talk: Re-imagining Place: Proposals for Engagement, The Haining, Selkirk for CABN

Talk: Collaborating in the Environmental Humanities for Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network, ECA Edinburgh


Talk: Working the Tweed Biodiversity and LEADER Conference, Vienna, Austria


Photo Credits:

Photo Left Hand Side by John McGeoch

Photo Right Hand Side by Chan@ Papay Arts Centre