Ballet Nights Spotlight presents the UK premier of Imago

presents the UK premiere of IMAGO choreographed and performed by the critically-acclaimed duo
April 26th and 27th at Lanterns Studio Theatre,
Canary Wharf, E14 9XP
Running time: approximately one hour, no interval

On April 26th and 27th the dynamic British dance duo Pett|Clausen-Knight present their compelling new duet, IMAGO, at Lanterns Studio Theatre as part of Ballet Nights’ new chapter, SPOTLIGHT. James Pett and Travis Clausen-Knight – formerly with Company Wayne McGregor – electrified Ballet Nights audiences in 2023 and 2024 with excerpts from In The Absence (2023) and Nerve Wire (2024).

IMAGO is a philosophical reflection on relationships: a poetic investigation into human nature. The choreography, together with the significant flower installations, offers a visceral experience for audiences who will be able to savour – at close quarters – the empathetic exchange between these two outstanding performers.

“A fascinating male duet that presented many strong moments and gave rise to imagery of flight, companionship, respect, power, security and sensitivity with a very poignant and meaningful ending.”

“These dancers have a strong symbiotic relationship on stage, expressing a deeply intense shared experience that draws the audience into their intriguing metaphysical adventures.”

Says Jamiel Devernay-Laurence, Artistic Director of Ballet Nights Spotlight:
“Ballet Nights Spotlight is the next step for our dance start-up, in which we shine a light on one of our audience favourites: Pett|Clausen-Knight. We’re thrilled to present the UK premiere of IMAGO in which audiences will be able to catch this riveting duo up close and in action both onstage and at the post-show Meet & Greet. Pett|Clausen-Knight are the perfect example of a creative powerhouse who are more than ready to present a full evening of their own to our Ballet Nights audiences. Ballet Nights is about presenting the best of the best, about closing the gap between performers and audiences.
Pett|Clausen-Knight open another exciting chapter in our dance story.”

Q&A with James Pett and Travis Clausen-Knight:

1. Tell us about the making of IMAGO
James: Imago looks at the human condition as seen from the perspective of hidden dysfunctions in relationships. The toxic natures that we are all capable of exhibiting are represented through the floral symbolism we’ve created. Some of the flowers are arranged in bouquets which are placed on five white pillars on the stage. They create ever-changing visual architectures as Travis and I navigate our interactions.

Travis: We started to make Imago after the first lockdown in 2020. We were inspired by two vintage books called ‘The Language of Flowers’ to include flowers in our work in a symbolic way. In working out how to feature the flowers, we looked at what they mean, what they represent, how they can reflect language and relationships.

James: While making the piece we played with ideas of dangerous behaviours in relationships…we would film something, write notes, talk about ideas and find music – and flowers – to connect with a particular theme. Choreography would then fuel the next stage. Sometimes music would give us an idea for a particular theme.

2. What do you like performing at Lanterns Studio Theatre?
Travis: The proximinal nature of Lanterns adds to the connectivity of our work; the audience is fully exposed to the rawness and they help to fulfil it. We hope the audience feels that the work is a part of them and because they are so close to us onstage they actually feed us more than they know!
James: What’s interesting about Lanterns is that it’s simultaneously intimate and expansive. While audiences are very close to us they still get the depth of a theatre. We love that the audience should feel what they’re watching and we love the ‘tennis match effect’ of audiences following the movement across the space – it gives us a superb connection with the audience.

3. How do you choose your music?
James: We work very closely with my brother Sean who’s an amazing multi-instrumentalist and composer. Sean plays a number of instruments including piano, drums, and guitar and he works within a digital spectrum, creating astounding things.
IMAGO features 12 chapters – each one with a different musical score. Sean has created pockets of music to illustrate the various themes such as mistrust, or alienation. His signature is unique – he’ll create a constant beat and suddenly drop in a snippet of Vivaldi making it a poetic, winding road of music. It’s very exciting working with him – he’s really the third member of the duo…

4. You’ve toured a lot internationally – any plans to take IMAGO around the UK?
Travis: We love touring abroad and are looking forward to touring in the UK later this year and in 2025.
We’ve worked a lot in Italy, Germany and Japan where we became the first international artists to present contemporary dance on the Cerulean Tower Noh Theatre in Tokyo.

James Pett and Travis Clausen-Knight met when they were members of Company Wayne McGregor. They contributed to a number of works including AutoBiography, Atomos, and Tree of Codes and performed with the company at numerous venues including Sadler’s Wells, Opera Garnier/Paris, The Joyce Theater/New York City, and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Their first co-choreographed duet, Splinter the Noise, was made for the Royal Ballet’s Draft Works and in 2019 they formed Pett|Clausen-Knight. Their subsequent work has garnered acclaim in Italy, Thailand, Singapore, China, and Japan. In November 2022, they premiered IMAGO, their first full-length duet work, in Italy. The piece tours the UK later this year and in 2025.

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Francesca Lombardo is a freelance journalist. She holds a Master's degree in journalism from the LCC of London and her articles has been published by the Financial Times, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, The Herald, Sunday Express, Daily Express, Irish Independent, The Sunday Business Post, A Place in the Sun, Ryanair Magazine, Easyjet Magazine, CNBC magazine, Voyager magazine, Portugal Magazine, Travel Trade Gazette, House Hunter in the sun, Homes Worldwide and to Italian outlets, Repubblica, D Repubblica, L'Espresso, Il Venerdì, Vogue, Vogue Uomo, Vogue Casa, GQ, Il Sole 24 Ore, F Magazine, TU Style, La Stampa, "A", Gioia. Francesca Lombardo has trained at the business desks of the Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Daily Express. She has authored a children's book series titled Beatrice and the London Bus. website:

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