Being disabled doesn’t have to stop the dance

Candoco Dance Company
Candoco Dance Company

Contemporary dancers will be seeking to ‘counteract’ stereotypes with new works at the Grand Theatre.

Candoco Dance Company presents double bill CounterActs on Wednesday, bringing the ‘world’s leading contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled performers’ to the resort.

There are two pieces; one is light-hearted and funny, and quite clever, and for the dancers quite up close and personal, the other is quite physical, energetic, sweaty and very different

The two works, by Hetain Patel and Alexander Whitley, explore identity and perception, using ‘minimal text to create unique and visceral experiences for audiences, moving fluidly between English, French and British Sign Language’.

Visual artist Hetain Patel has created Let’s Talk About Dis, as his debut dance piece - from a background of no training in the art, as a challenges for audiences to ‘think beyond surface appearances, exposing hidden prejudices and absurd political correctness.’ By contrast, Alexander Whitley is a classically-trained dancer with an extensive background in contemporary dance

Candoco artistic co-director Pedro Machado said: “There are two pieces; one is light-hearted and funny, and quite clever, and for the dancers quite up close and personal, the other is quite physical, energetic, sweaty and very different.

“It will be a great mixture for people who haven’t seen Candoco, it’s a great introduction to the company, but for people who’ve seen us before there are surprises as well.

“We sought out two dance makers at the extremes of the traditional dance-making spectrum: Hetain Patel is a visual artist whose piece for Candoco is his first dance commission whilst classically-trained dancer Alexander Whitley has worked extensively within contemporary dance.

“Their respective dance training - none and at the Royal Ballet - are very different to that of our dancers so they each had to find a common ground with the company. In fact the company itself became the common ground.”

Candoco Dance Company works with an inclusive company of disabled and non-disabled dancers, aiming to ‘disrupt the genre, changing perceptions of what dance is and who can dance.’

n CounterActs - Candoco Dance Company, Wednesday, 7.30pm. Tickets from £9.50. Call (01253) 290190 to book.