Art of Diverse Dancing–Candoco

Candoco Celebrates 25 years of Integrated Dance. Image: Against a a black background, dancers in gray flowing outfits pose with arms, legs and bodies reaching to right and left.


British weekly newspaper The Observer reviewed the Candoco Dance Company in 2007 with a bold statement:

“Candoco is the company for which choreographers reserve their wildest and often most inventive work.”

Today, Candoco is still living up to that description as it celebrates 25 years of dance in the UK.

“We believe this is partly because of the many artistic possibilities that come from working with and celebrating difference—different bodies, different perspectives, different experiences, different ways of doing things,” said Joanne Lyons, who has served as general manager of Candoco Dance Company for the last seven years.

The contemporary dance company is comprised of dancers with and without disabilities and embodies a vision of what dance can be, challenging audience members to redefine their perceptions of ability and art.

“Candoco has a very strong commissioning policy, inviting world-class choreographers to create new works with our company of seven disabled and non-disabled dancers,” Lyons said. “With a repertoire as diverse as the company itself, Candoco continues to push the boundaries of dance and widen perceptions of ‘what dance is and who can dance.’”

Celeste Dandeker and Adam Benjamin founded Candoco in 1991 after numerous integrated workshops at the Aspire Centre for Spinal Injury in London. When they branched out on their own as the first integrated company of its kind in the UK, the aspiration was no longer to operate as a recovery outlet or rehabilitation option for dance, but instead to establish an elite dance company. So, Dandeker commissioned 30 performance works from internationally renowned choreographers. ...
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