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Modern Dance evenings





25 October 2012 at Bonnie Bird Theatre, Deptford.

An enthusiastically appreciative packed house enjoyed this long programme, spotlighting the work of Laban 3rd year students and CandoCo guest associates.

Where we are had some fifteen dancers seemingly doing their own things, though I was assured it is all carefully rehearsed. Very absorbing, and backed by music of the distinguished Latvian composer PÄ“teris Vasks. The dark Maybe again (inspired by Medea) was too obscure for me...

Gary Lambert's Physical/Still had a squared setting (with great lighting, including reflections) but the space confined the dancing to a series of quartets from the large cast (five dancers at the end), and was hampered by "music", striking at first, which got ever louder to ear-damaging levels.

That apart, thdere seems to be a great work for perhaps eight dancers buried there...

Most notable, and deeply moving, was Charlotte Darbyshire's Parable, drawing on her experiences of working with disabled and non-disabled dancers at the Paralympics.

Two of CandoCo's company (see below) and many other Laban students joined in an unsettling and inspiring work reflecting the life of severely handicapped people (with both physical and mental problems), all put together with poetic expression and extraordinary stage appearances, incorporating compulsive movements without any caricature.


Peter Grahame Woolf


Candoco Three Acts of Play
at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Bonnie Bird Theatre, Laban Dance Centre, Deptford 18 October 2012

12 October 2012 Candoco Dance Company and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance have joined forces to achieve greater access for disabled people into the dance profession

Three Acts of Play
made for an absorbing and unique dance evening, supported at the Laban theatre by a near-full house of mainly younger people and dance enthusiasts.

Most of the audience stayed on for a short discussion with members of Candoco about their unique company, which includes disabled dancers (they took part in the opening and spectacular closing ceremonies of the London Paralympics.).

This triple bill featured the London theatre premiere of Javier de Frutos' Studies for C, inspired by poetry of Tennessee Williams and set to traditional Mexican Ranchera music, a celebration of "difference and rebellion". Dan, whose movements and speech are affected by a type of cerebral palsy, was the main spokesman for Candoco that evening and - delight to discover - he narrates an excellent short video illustrating this duo for 2 masked dancers, a couple who have lived together for too long and display all the tensions of a relationship which has palled over the years, but from which neither can escape. Do click on now!

Imperfect Storm by Wendy Houstoun [top and R] is a subtle and hilariously funny take on the stage directions (only) of Shakespeare's The Tempest. It involved the whole company and rose to a climax with the mounting Beaufort Scale degrees of storm severity.

Important for me was the abrogation of the more usual separation between dance and speech; the tentative, apologetic tone of the confused narrator was one of its joys. See it on their promo video of that work.

Peter Grahame Woolf


See also henri_oguike_laban.html