Project information

20th Anniversary Programme

To create a Commissioning Fund for an outstanding programme of contemporary dance performance in 2011 to mark and celebrate Candoco Dance Company’s 20th year as the pioneer of the concept of ‘inclusive dance practice’, whereby the contribution of disabled and non-disabled people is valued equally.

April 2011 - April 2012

Charity information: Candoco Dance Company

Candoco Dance Company logo
  • Need


    There is a demonstrable lack of opportunity for young disabled people to access training to become professional dancers, and the public has limited opportunities to see inclusive dance on the professional stage. Also other organisations seek training and guidance to work more inclusively. Our charity seeks to redress these gaps in provision, reduce discrimination, and enable young people with diverse physicalities to pursue their vocational interests and build a career in dance.


    This programme of exceptional ambition and quality will show audiences the possibilities of an inclusive approach and help to challenge perceptions. It provides disabled dancers rare opportunities to develop their skills. Our wider participation programmes include youth groups and workshops which offer different entry points into dance for young disabled people. As an exemplar, the project demonstrates to professionals how the sector can drive and support excellence in inclusive practice.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To create a new 20th Anniversary Programme triple bill of inclusive contemporary dance


    » Commission choreographers Rachid Ouramdane and Matthias Sperling to create two new works for Candoco’s company of dancers
    » Commission the Trisha Brown Company to work with Candoco’s dancers on a new presentation of Trisha Brown's seminal work 'Set and Reset'
    » Bring together disabled and non-disabled dancers in the rehearsal room to work with professional choreographers.

    Success will be the production of an inspiring anniversary programme which shows individuals’ potential and highlights Candoco’s achievements in pioneering inclusive practice.

    Aim 2

    To provide disabled and non disabled dance practitioners with skills development opportunities


    » Provide an extended rehearsal period in order to deconstruct and re-make Trisha Brown’s complex piece
    » Provide an inclusive company of dancers the opportunity to work with three very different choreographic styles
    » Create one of the pieces as a solo for one of Candoco’s dancers, the first time the company has done this, extending the dancer's skill and experience

    Success will be dancers showing through performance that with appropriate support and training, an inclusive company can successfully meet considerable choreographic challenges.

    Aim 3

    To present the work to a wide range of audiences and challenge perceptions about disability


    » Tour to many regions in the UK to give audiences throughout the country an opportunity to see this unique triple bill programme
    » Chart the progress of the project on Candoco’s website, enabling people to track activities, ask questions, and take part in related activities

    Success will be that the programme will have been performed widely across the UK with up 22,000 people engaging as audiences and through wider participation activity.

    Aim 4

    To encourage more young people to get involved in dance through providing inspiring role models


    » Deliver schools and community workshops and talks alongside the touring programme, stimulating interest and involvement amongst young people
    » Show by example that people with disabilities can work as professional dancers by presenting high quality work by an inclusive company

    Young people will have attended performances, participated in talks, subscribed to and engaged with the company online, and/or requested information about activities and training

  • Impact


    The project headlines a new phase of development in 2011 as Candoco repositions as the UK’s first Centre for Excellence in inclusive practice, aiming to transform the landscape for dance and disability through growth and change. Working to detailed Development Plan targets we aim to see more inclusive work made; create more support for disabled artists; open up career routes for disabled dancers, and forge new partnerships with the education sector to increase access to vocational training.


    Risk: uncertain financial climate. Mitigation: Candoco’s core revenue grant is confirmed for 2011/12, and it is diversifying its funding base. Reserves can help manage a degree of unexpected loss of income in the short term. Risk: The choreographers are unaccustomed to working with a company of disabled and non-disabled dancers. Mitigation: Candoco’s Co-Artistic Directors will support the making process; additional time is provided for familiarisation before rehearsals.


    Candoco will provide activity updates online via video excerpts and interviews with practitioners and participants, and list tour dates. The charity’s annual report and accounts will include a review of the project. Summary updates via email can also be provided.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £3,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,000 Production costs Technical, sound, design, set, lighting costs
  • Background


    Candoco is London-based with an office in Islington and a studio theatre located in the ASPIRE National Training Centre at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. Whilst Candoco works collaboratively with organisations, schools and communities local to its base to deliver its renowned community and youth programmes, its focus is UK wide, hence its commitment to touring and our strategic initiatives such as Moving Bodies, currently developing inclusive practice in five UK regions.


    20 creative professionals including young disabled dancers will benefit by developing their skills and gaining valuable experience in inclusive practice through the 20th Anniversary Programme. Candoco’s audiences and participants number 16,000 - 22,000 annually, including those engaged in workshop activity, youth group projects, and audience development events such as talks and presentations. Thousands more learn about and experience Candoco’s work through engaging online.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Candoco has specialist expertise gained over 20 years. Founded in 1991, it was the first inclusive contemporary dance company and is widely acknowledged to have set the standard for inclusive dance practice in the UK and further afield. Our extensive learning programmes are successful in encouraging people to achieve their highest aspirations and creating pathways into work for disabled dancers. Candoco has toured to 50 countries and inspired the emergence of other inclusive companies.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Stine Nisen/Pedro Machado, Co-Artistic Directors (Jobshare)

    Responsible for artistic policy, will oversee delivery of the creative programme with the commissioned choreographers and the company dancers.

    Rebecca Dawson, Executive Director

    Delivers business strategy, oversees touring, marketing and education work through line management of all administrative staff, and evaluation.

    Nadja Dias, Head Of Touring And Marketing

    Leads on touring strategy and co-ordinating touring activity, and implements Candoco’s marketing, communications and audience development strategy.

    Luke Pell, Head Of Learning And Development

    Leads on the implementation of an education and training strategy that supports Candoco’s vision, mission and commitment to inclusive practice.

Candoco reinvented the boundaries of dance by proving that virtuosity wasn’t confined to the able bodied.

The Guardian