Talking disability, identity and inclusion through dance – Candoco preview
Candoco are a company of disabled and non-disabled dancers who, for the past 25 years,
have challenged ideas about what dance can be and who gets to be a part of it. Their core
values of inclusion and diversity expand out into bigger questions about the world at large:
How do we define and express ourselves? How do we interact with one another, and with
the world around us?
Their back-to- back performances at Sussex campus’ Attenborough Centre for the Creative
Arts (ACCA) next week seek to reflect the company’s unique focus on collaborative and
investigative creativity, amidst facing big question about identity, sensuality, communication
Their first piece Face In is an unapologetically vibrant performance with colourful, sexy
costumes, a fast-paced urban score and wild uninhibited movement. The dance explores
sensuality and self-expression, in a way that seeks to be both enthralling and disturbing,
familiar yet strange.
Israeli new wave choreographer Yasmeen Godder was drawn to the intimacy and
collaborative spirit of Candoco: “it was clear to me that I was coming to work with a
community of people. It’s a group of people who meets on a regular basis, who have almost
their own rituals and their own ways of working together and I wanted to […] tap into that.”
As its name suggests Face In is heavily focused on the expression of the face as well as the
body – how it functions as an instrument of identity or as an outward mask. Godder adds “I
think there is also something in the work about facing up to ourselves: facing up to who we
are and not being afraid.”
Candoco’s second piece Let’s Talk About Dis is choreographed by multi-media artist Hetain
Patel, who has previously worked on autobiographical pieces performed by himself. Let’s
Talk About Dis sees him stepping out of the spotlight for the first time in his attempt to
address disability in a way that is honest, engaging for its audience, and successfully tackles
the taboos that exist in our society.
Patel explains that his artwork “offers lots of different angles to talk about and look at the
same thing, because I don’t believe there’s one answer.” As a result, the piece incorporates
dialogue, sign language, singing, movement, music and comedy.
Candoco Dance’s performance comes as part of South East Dance’s micro-festival:
undisciplined. The festival aims to celebrate “contemporary performance with a
choreographic edge, by artists and imaginative thinkers who are not bound by a specific
genre.” The Badger is also covering a further undisciplined production: Project O’s
experimental dance piece Voodoo, which shows Thursday 19 April at The Old Market.
Face In / Let’s Talk About Dis shows at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts
(ACCA) on Wednesday 18 April. The performance begins at 8pm and will be preceded by a
talk and Q&A with the company’s Artistic Co-Director Ben Wright, Rehearsal Director,
Susanna Recchia, and artist Kimberley Harvey. The talk begins at 7pm, is free of charge and
will be BSL interpreted by Sue MacLaine.
Tickets: £15 standard/£12 concessions (including students)