Skip to content

The Way You Look (at me) Tonight

The Way You Look at me Tonight

How do we look at each other?

How do we allow ourselves to be seen? How do our bodies shape the ways we perceive the world around us? Can we change how we see others?

The Way You Look (at me) Tonight is a social sculpture-a sensory journey, for two performers and audience.  Developed in collaboration with noted author and philosopher of perception Dr. Alva Noë, disabled artist Claire Cunningham (Scotland) and international choreographer and performer Jess Curtis (Berlin / San Francisco) dance, sing, tell stories and ask questions combining performance, original music, and video to wrestle (sometimes literally) with important questions about our habits and practices of perceiving each other and the world.

In collaboration video artist Yoann Trellu, composer Matthias Herrmann, dramaturge Luke Pell, set and costume designer Michiel Keuper and lighting designer Christopher Copland, they perform an evening-length duet that excavates their own ways of seeing each other-as a man and a woman of different ages, bodies and backgrounds. In 2005 Curtis was the choreographer who first introduced Cunningham to movement, leading to her career as a choreographer in her own right. Now a decade later they return to work together to co-create The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight.

The Way You Look (at me) Tonight was shortlisted for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in the ‘Outstanding Achievement in Music/Sound/Text’ category for the 2016/17 performance season.

Click here for access information.



Below is a section of audio from The Way You Look (at me) Tonight entitled This body has not.  The poem was also which was published in Stairs and Whispers D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, edited by Sandra Allanda, Khairani and Daniel Sluman.


In 2020, with support from the #takecare program, Claire and collaborators Jess Curtis (Co-creator, Performer), Luke Pell (Dramaturge) and Yoann Trellu (Video Artist) engaged in a series of conversations regarding the most interesting ways to create and present an after-the-fact reflection on  The Way You Look (at me) Tonight, particularly in view of the recent effects of Covid-19 on our physical choices in social space.  The result is a film by Yoann Trello with reflections from Claire, Luke and Jess.


“Smart, sensitive and sometimes sensual… well worth seeing” ★★★★ The TimesFull article
“In this deconstructed environment, there are no solutions, no rights or wrongs, only other possibilities and other ways of thinking about life and death. This is where the interesting choreography takes place, Noe assures us. And he’s right.” London DanceFull article
“They were both endearing, the whole performance was. I felt very warm all night.” The White PubeFull article
“Open, tactile, dynamic, strong, gentle. Mobile. Moving.” A Younger TheatreFull article
“their tender togetherness an affirmation of looking beyond appearances and seeing another person for who they really are” The HeraldFull article
“I have never been so transfixed” Glasgow GuardianFull article


Running time approx 110 minutes
Recommended for ages 14+, contains swearing.
We endevour to have a sign language and audio described performance at each venue. Please see venue details.

Created and performed by Claire Cunningham (Scotland) and Jess Curtis (Germany / USA)
Philosophical Consultation Alva Noë
Composed by Matthias Herrmann Except for The Way You Look Tonight by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields performed by Fred Astaire
Text Claire Cunningham, Jess Curtis, Alva Noë including excerpts from Varieties of Presence and What We Know Best by Alva Noë and Nicole Peisl
Costume and Set Design Michiel Keuper
Set Construction Assistant Saskia Schoenmaker
Dramaturg Luke Pell
Video Design Yoann Trellu
Lighting Design Chris Copland
Publicity Image Sven Hagolani
Audio Description Claire Cunningham, Jess Curtis, EJ McHenry, spoken by EJ McHenry
Audio Description (German) Claire Cunningham, Jess Curtis, EJ McHenry; Übersetzung: Panthea gesprochen von Yvette Coetzee-Hannemann
Produced by Claire Cunningham Projects with Jess Curtis / Gravity
Gravity Administration Amie Cota (US) and Julia Danila (Germany)

The Way You Look (at me) Tonight has been made possible by support from the following funders and organisations:

Unlimited; celebrating the work of disabled artists, using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland and Spirit of 2012, co-commissioned by Tramway Glasgow and supported by The Place London, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, British Council, CounterPulse and Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts.

The New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, The San Francisco Arts Commission, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Fonds Darstellende Künste, Kofinanzierungsfonds des Regierenden Bürgermeisters von Berlin – Senatskanzlei | Kulturelle Angelegenheiten.

Thanks to:
Sally Clay, Mickel Smithen, Jenny Sealey, Chloe Phillips, Maria Oshodi, Helen Hall, EJ Raymond, Jeni Draper, Caroline Bowditch, Laura Hook, Marc Brew, Alice Sheppard, Kenny Fries, Julia Watts Belser, John Link, Sophia Green, Martin Siedler , Alastair Young at Warpro, Martin Whyte at Stage Group Glasgow, Moonglass Music, Eddie Nixon, Catherine Greenwood and Marco Cifre Quatresols at The Place, Clara Giraud and Jo Verrent at Unlimited

Previous Performances

  • Southbank Centre, London
  • Tramway, Glasgow, Glasgow
  • California State University, San Marcos
  • Counterpulse, San Francisco
  • Miami Dade County Auditorium, Miami
  • Dance Place, Washington DC
  • Ufer Studios, Berlin
  • Tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
  • The Place, London
  • Norwich Playhouse, Norwich
  • Spielart, Munich
  • Gibney Dance, New York
  • Flynn Center, Burlington
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • PACT Zollverein, Essen
  • Theater, Heilbronn
  • Tafelhalle, Nuernberg
  • Staatstheater, Darmstadt
  • Tanzhaus, Zurich
  • Norrlandsoperan, Umea
  • The Place, London
  • Theater, Bremen
  • Theaterformen Festival, Hannover
  • Hellerau, Dresden
  • Staatstheater, Mainz