Candoco Dance Company

24 February 2009, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

canI really liked how they stood in a line and walked and moved at different paces. I liked the piece they did with musical boxes. The section where they passed the mic about. And the duet between the two men.

The dancers were fantastic. Great sportsmanship, I thought. They were made to do pretty tasking activities and movements, of which some must not be very easy or comfortable to carry out. Also, do you find that there is usually one dancer or performer that catches your eye, and that you find yourself watching them 80% of the time after that, even if the whole stage is packed full of people? There definitely was one in this performance. I need to find the specific name of this dancer – she was great. (Name: Bettina Carpi) She really gave it her all. She must have a great sense of humour, as you can see it in the twinkle of her eye!

Am afraid other than that, I was quite disappointed. If it weren’t for Candoco performing, I think you could fairly say that the evening seemed quite amateur. Hofesh’s piece The Perfect Human – nothing new, quite similar to his In You Rooms piece and Dog for Scottish Dance Theatre. He’s tipped as UK’s hot young choreographer and has a very distinct style, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll branch out, expand or deviate from his signature style (but it’s been two years already, and he hasn’t). Nigel Charnock’s piece, Still, is very typically him, which unfortunately makes it slightly dated. Lots of people love his crazy absurd style (i.e. run into the audience and shout). Hm, not my kind’ve thing.

I thought it was a real shame that Hofesh didn’t seem to have used the strengths (and weaknesses) of each dancer. It was almost as if he choreographed the piece and then fit the dancers into it. Particularly a huge shame as this is a company of disabled and non-disabled dancers – it is a brilliant opportunity to bring out the skills and qualities of each of them, embrace the fact that not everyone can do everything. This isn’t even limited to Candoco… it goes for any choreographer and dancer out there.

Their double bill in 2007 was phenomenal, the choreographers did exactly that. Sadly, this was quite a disappointment 😦 It’ll be interesting to see where they go next…think they need to seriously consider where they are heading, particularly as they are viewed as UK represents (they performed at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Closing Ceremonies). But I do still think that they are a great company! Haven’t seen a similar company in HK… hmm…

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