Candoco Dance Company
Where:Bułka z Masłem, Solny Square 14/Szajnochy street 4
The British Candoco Dance Company is one of the most important modern dance groups in Europe and has its 25th anniversary this year. Their performances are true masterpieces of choreography which constantly reformulate the definition of dance and break the stereotypical thinking about physical fitness and perfection, especially because of the fact the group includes handicapped solo performers.
Such a composition of performers gives choreographers unique artistic capabilities. No further explanations are necessary when one sees the names of professionals from across the world who work with this group: Emanuel Gat, Rachid Ouramdane, Wendy Houston, Javier de Frutos, Emily Claid, Doug Elkins, Siobhan Davies, Fin Walker, Darshan Singh-Bhuller, Annabel Arden and Stephen Petronio. Also worth mentioning are two handicapped choreographers: Claire Cunningham and Mark Brew.
Candoco Dance Company was formed in 1991 by two dancers and choreographers: Celeste Dandeker and Adam Benjamin. The idea of ballet for everyone cropped up during integrated workshops at the Aspire Centre in London for people with spinal injuries.
It is not only a professional theatrical group, but also an organization which promotes diversity and integrity though art. It is run by two artistic directors and experienced Candoco dancers: Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado.
Candoco Dance Company is not only about performances. It organizes seminars and workshops as well as runs professional inclusive dance lessons which are truly for everyone: the healthy and the handicapped, amateurs and artists alike.
The activity of this unique group from London is an important voice in the international debate concerning not only dance and disability as one of its crucial elements, but also aesthetics in modern choreography. Artists from Candoco have brought about changes in thinking about who can partake in dance and culture (i.e. is physically healthy) and enriched ways of communicating, interacting and shaping the surrounding world as well as the perception of culture with its huge diversity.
The group is also introducing its educational, training and artistic programs to those countries, where the fight for the rights of the handicapped has only just begun, i.e. in Palestine, Vietnam and Armenia.
In Wrocław we will be seeing two performances that were produced in 2014. The first of them will be “Let’s Talk About Dis” by Hetain Patel, one of the most interesting British visual artists. This both funny and intimate performance uses the different personalities and physical traits of the individual dancers. The director discusses the problem of identity and how it is perceived by individual spectators, complicating and differentiating understanding of the performance’s meaning though movement and the use of different languages, including sign language.
“Notturnino,” on the other hand, by the distinguished choreographer Thomas Hauert, the co-founder and director of the famous Belgian modern dance group ZOO, is a touching spectacle about the frailty of life, aging and dignity inspired by “Tosca's Kiss,” an Italian documentary about retired opera singers from a nursing home in Milan. The rhythm is enhanced by the original cinematic soundtrack including recordings of conversations and vocals of the nursing home residents.
Both performances, being based on the unique capabilities of the dancers, explore areas that were previously unknown in arts and once again prove the originality and uniqueness of the Candoco Dance Company.