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Chosen One: Candoco Dance Company

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Interview with Pedro Machado (Candoco’s Artistic Co-Director).

I think Dance has this ability, it breaks barriers when you do it, it allows you to tap into a different state of mind and body but it also creates intriguing and captivating ‘things’ to look at.”

—Pedro Machado (Candoco’s Artistic Co-Director).

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Candoco, the leading company of disabled and non-disabled dancers is celebrating its 25th anniversary in London with two special performances at Sadlers Wells (tonight and tomorrow).

Beheld features music by German composer Nils Frahm reworked by fellow musician Machinefabriek. Set and Reset/Reset features music by Amercian avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson.

Founded in 1991 by Celeste Dandeker-Arnold OBE and Adam Benjamin, Candoco quickly grew into the first professional dance company of disabled and non-disabled artists in the UK. The rich beginnings of Candoco happened out of workshops, where disabled and non-disabled people got together to dance, create and have fun.

Candoco’s current Artistic Co-Directors Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado were appointed as Celeste’s successors in 2007 having danced with the company for seven and nine years respectively. They have taken Candoco from the Bird’s Nest in Beijing to the Olympic Stadium in London, performing at the handover ceremonies in 2008 and returning, alongside Coldplay, at the Paralympic Closing in 2012 and have commissioned works for the company from leading choreographers Emanuel Gat, Rachid Ouramdane, Wendy Houstoun and Javier de Frutos.

Candoco’s ‘Beheld’ & ‘Set and Reset/Reset’ take place London’s Sadlers Wells on 21-22 October (tonight and tomorrow), performance commences at 7:30PM. For ticket bookings visit HERE.

http://www.candoco.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/candoco/

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Interview with Pedro Machado (Candoco’s Artistic Co-Director).

 

Please discuss the relationship between music and dance, and where you feel both these worlds intersect?

Pedro Machado: They both make us aware of rhythm and form and can be evocative of imagination and emotion. They are also ephemeral, you can reproduce and record it but the experience or listening to music or seeing dance disappears the second it happens. I like that specially as society tend to put some much emphasis on consuming and owning.

The Candoco Dance Company celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year and the forthcoming London production is to reworks of music by Nils Frahm and Laurie Anderson. I would love to gain an insight into the music program itself and your approach (and preparations) to reworking the music of Nils and Laurie Anderson? Also, what are the qualities and particular aspects to the music of Nils Frahm and Laurie Anderson that makes for such a compelling dance performance?

PM: Nils Frahm’s work is atmospheric, cinematographic, evocative… with plenty of space for contemplation, it’s a great match for dance and it’s capable of subtle but powerful emotional responses.  Laurie Anderson score for Set and Reset is full of layers and surprises, with a quirky humour and an engaging beat. Just like the dance.

Please discuss the aura of live performance and the feelings involved when it comes to the dance performance, live onstage and witnessing the production bloom into life?

PM: I love the communion aspect of live work, the fact that is experienced by lots of people at the same time… In one way the music and sounds help us to connect. When we work in the studio the music is a driving force and also guides dancers but sometimes it can take over and we also rehearse without music a lot. One of our performances at Sadler’s has a special aura as it will be audio described on the spot, to support further access to blind people.

As an integral force behind this world-renowned dance company, can you talk me through the rise of dance (in general) and your artistic vision (from the outset) when it comes to the inception of a particular dance piece, and its evolution to the final, end result?

PM: Candoco is an international reference in the field of dance and disability and it’s one of Britain’s most eclectic repertory Company but 25 years ago we didn’t set off to become a company, that happened out of workshops, where disabled and non-disabled people got together to dance, create and have fun.

I think Dance has this ability, it breaks barriers when you do it, it allows you to tap into a different state of mind and body but it also creates intriguing and captivating ‘things’ to look at. It’s like seeing a sportsperson performance where you have to decide for yourself what are the rules… What audiences see on stage is just the tip of the iceberg of months of preparations and hard work, many many hours that culminate in a one-hour event.

Can you describe the dance choreography and sequencing to the ‘Beheld’ movement, which sees a visually striking dance piece performed to the backdrop of Nils Frahms’ score? Please discuss the symmetry between the dance movement itself and movement of Frahms’ music?

PM: Beheld is beautiful to look at but it’s much more than that. There are great odd harmonies and collective effort and exhilarating dance sequences. Nils’ music creates an intimate still epic atmosphere that supports and extrapolates the action on stage.

What other composers and musicians would you love to collaborate with in the future? What other projects do you have planned, Pedro?

PM: We are working with Yasmeen Godder next year, she is very cool and has great taste, in our early conversations names like PJ Jarvey and Radiohead came up but we are aware these are big artists so we are also looking for other artists who can be political and emotional without being preachy or sentimental.

Candoco’s ‘Beheld’ & ‘Set and Reset/Reset’ take place London’s Sadlers Wells on 21-22 October (tonight and tomorrow), performance commences at 7:30PM. For ticket bookings visit HERE.

http://www.candoco.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/candoco/

 

Written by admin

October 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm