MICHAEL Clark – the bad boy of dance in the 1980s and 1990s – attained iconic status decades ago. The gay son of an Aberdonian farmer, he went from the Scottish country dancing of his youth, via training in classical ballet, to becoming one of the most acclaimed performers and choreographers in contemporary dance.

In doing so, Clark created a body of work – including collaborations with the likes of Australian performance artist and fashion designer Leigh Bowery, post-punk rock group The Fall and English filmmaker Peter Greenaway – that has seared itself into the consciousness of aficionados of the contemporary avant-garde.

There can be very few artists whose work gives itself so readily to an extensive exhibition of videos, visual art works, costume and set designs, music, interviews and promotional materials.

First shown at the Barbican in London in 2020-21, Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer has now come to Scotland, where it will run at the V&A Dundee until September. Without question, this is an exhibition that is worthy of the fabulous architecture of the V&A building on Tayside.

Spanning the entirety of Clark’s exceptional career, the show is outstanding in its breadth, diversity, vibrancy, humour and the sheer intelligence of its curation and display. For those not initiated in all things Clark, the exhibition will be, I’m sure, a brilliant and energising introduction.

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For those who have followed his career with enthralled interest since the early days, it is nothing short of a house of wonders. There were points in the exhibition – particularly the room dedicated to the great rock ballet I Am Curious, Orange, which Clark made with The Fall – when I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven.

That dance work – which was a noted hit of the Edinburgh Fringe in 1988 – was made in response to a commission from Sadler’s Wells dance centre in London to create a piece commemorating the tercentenary of William of Orange’s ascension to the English throne in 1688. The result, as you can see in the V&A exhibition, was a show in which Clark danced the role of a sparkly orange-clad William, Fall guitarist Brix Smith was wheeled on stage sitting atop a massive Big Mac and dancers represented King Billy’s place in Scotland’s sectarian folklore by performing in the shirts of Glasgow football clubs Rangers and Celtic.

To be happily ambling through an exhibition and, suddenly, be accosted by the fabulously colourful set of that ballet – complete with black-and-white checked floor and huge Heinz baked beans can – is an experience not to be missed. Add to that video of the show and the music of The Fall – Mark E Smith’s Mancunian, working-class growl and all – and the room is worth the entry fee on its own.

However, there is more in the exhibition’s 14 rooms than this, so much more. The scale and variety of the work on show is extremely impressive.

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The opening room, for example, is a large-scale video installation created by American video artist and film director Charles Atlas. It comprises a series of nine big video screens suspended from the ceiling. Each screen has an audio speaker above it.

Wandering around, one flits between film of Clark performances and “anti-documentary” of the dancer and friends engaged in a fictional version of their daily life. The sound shifts from one screen to another – from spoken word to the rock music scores of Clark’s choreographies – succeeding in its intention of immersing the viewer.

Video of Bowery – a fabulous force of nature and an uncompromising queer radical, who was a model and muse for the great painter Lucian Freud and a friend and artistic collaborator of Boy George – reminds us of just how path-breaking was the Australian’s deliciously outrageous approach to performance. His gloriously garish movement and design accompanied Clark’s liberated ballet perfectly.

The room dedicated, in part, to Bowery’s costume designs (including a toreador’s jacket attached to a bright pink tutu) is an absolute joy. His death, aged just 33, from Aids-related illness in 1994 was a tragic loss.

Dance, music and film come together excellently in the room that houses Sophie Fiennes’s movie of the heavy rock choreography current/SEE. In making this 1998 dance work Clark collaborated with American musician Susan Stenger and her (perhaps Spinal Tap-inspired) wonderfully named all-base guitar band Big Bottom.

In the exhibition, Fiennes’s 2001 film of the piece is shown on a big screen with large Ampeg amplifiers (as used by Big Bottom in the movie) on either side. The hyper-stylish costumes and the mesmerising, angular movement of Clark’s choreography combine marvellously with the almost hypnotising, roaring repetition of Stenger’s music. I was glad I had refused the kind offer of ear plugs made by a member of V&A staff as I entered the exhibition (the music is “very loud”, she warned me).

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Those of an aurally sensitive disposition might want to have ear plugs to hand, just in case. However, I, for one, took great pleasure in getting the full rock gig effect of an extraordinary exhibition soundtrack that includes The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, David Bowie and T-Rex, as well as lots and lots of The Fall.

Bold and stylish artists inspire bold and stylish imagery, as testified by the room that is full of posters, programmes and other promotional materials for the Michael Clark Company. Elsewhere, there is joy to be taken in excerpts from Peter Greenaway’s sumptuous 1991 movie Prospero’s Books (which is based upon Shakespeare’s play The Tempest), throughout which Clark dances the role of the righteously indignant slave Caliban.

An outrageously rich feast for the eyes and ears, this stunning show is a fabulous reminder of just how pioneering and radical Clark has been throughout his career. A quintessential icon of queer culture and an outstanding artistic collaborator, he deserves to be celebrated in an unusually brilliant exhibition such as this.

Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer is at V&A Dundee until September 4: vam.ac.uk/dundee