The Happiness Treatments

The Happiness Treatments


A Guide to Happiness
with S. Moynihan + M. Passokopoulou

Anna Tuulia’s Happy Endings
with Janina Rajakangas

The Nature of Happiness
with Kip Johnson

A series of intimate 1-1 performances

The Happiness Treatments (2015) are a collection of 3 intimate performances ranging from 20 – 40 minutes in length. Developed around recognisable features appearing in many therapies/treatments/activities that exist as routes towards happiness (from cosmetic surgery to buddhist meditation techniques, from therapy to sex and through massage, touch and placebo) these landmarks create a sense of familiarity for the work, within which the audience can explore the possibilities offered. While some treatments may actually aim to make the audience, participants or client happier, others aim be about the nature of happiness itself and the transaction that is taking place.

The Happiness Treatments toured Nationally in 2015. The works are intimate, loop and are particularly well suited to festival contexts

The Happiness Treatments by Robert Clark was by far the longest experience of the evening, lasting approximately an hour altogether.  I understand that this is only one part of a three-part work attached to the dance piece Promises of Happiness, but it stands very well on its own two feet.  A sort of spa-like treatment, you enter a room with two other people, and are invited to lie on a bed (blindfold), and are gently manipulated in a variety of ways, sort of like a unusual massage (with the odd bit of sound helping along the way).  The whole process was immensely relaxing and reassuring, and I would have been quite happy for it to go on much longer: I came out the other side calm, comfortable and happy.  Really lovely.  There’s quite a bit more to it, but I don’t want to spoil it: there was a point I thought it was over, and then realised it definitely wasn’t – and then my understanding of what the piece was offering expanded in a fascinating way.  Well worth catching if you can.

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Commissioned by Dance East and The Place. Funded by Arts Council England. Supported by Greenwich Dance, Trestle Arts Base and Dance4.

Images © Ludovic Des Cognets