Magical family puppet adventure Cloud Man comes to Southbank Centre this Christmas!

Cloud Man, Spirit Level at Royal Festival Hall
Saturday 22 December – Sunday 6 January
Get tickets here

We caught up with the only Cloud Man expert, Cloudia Engle (Resident Scientist and respected meteorologist at ‘The Hut’, Cloud Mountain) to find out a bit more about Cloud Men…

What is it like to live on Cloud Mountain?

It is fascinating to see and be so close to all the different types of clouds but it can get quite draughty.

What happens when it gets particularly windy – is this dangerous for Cloud Men?

I have evidence to believe that when Cloud Men are in small groups (which is very rare), they participate in thrilling cloud races across the sky.

What do you think is a Cloud Man’s favourite type of weather?

I have spotted Cloud Men looking particularly happy when the sun is shining and it is raining at the same time.

You have said that Cloud Men make sculptures and shapes from the clouds. What kind shapes do they make?

I have seen all kinds of things in the clouds. I recommend looking for cloud sculptures on a bright clear day when there are blue skies and big fluffy clouds (nimbus or cumulonimbus clouds to be precise).

We’re celebrating winter at Southbank Centre this year. What’s your favourite thing about winter?

Cold weather and snow clouds are particularly exciting, as this seems to increase the chances of seeing a Cloud Man…

So don’t miss your chance to see a Cloud Man this winter at Southbank Centre from Saturday 22 December – Sunday 6 January. Get your tickets here:

Classical Indian Dancer Pallavi Saran Gujral performs at Southbank Centre

On the 4th May Southbank Centre welcomes the celebrated Bharatantyam dancer, Pallavi Saran Gujral, to perform at the Purcell Room as part of the Double Bill of Classical Indian Music and Dance.

Here is a preview of what we can expect to see on the night:

Bhratanatyam is one of the oldest forms of classical Indian dance, originating 2000 years ago in Southern India, and is rarely performed in the UK. Pallavi will be accompanied by live music from vocalist Venkateshwaran Kuppuswamy, violinist Jyotsna Srikanth and mridangamist (percussionist) Ramamoorthy Sriganesh.

For more info and to book tickets click here


Our judge for this Friday’s Dance Your City Competition made headlines last week – the Guardian even talks about ‘fashion history’ and the ‘event of the season’. London Fashion Week 2012: Stella McCartney invites to a dinner in an old church in Mayfair. The guest list includes Kate Moss, Rihanna, Zaha Hadid and Kanye West. Suddenly some of the guests start a flash dance in the evening wear of Stella McCartney. Supermodels and dancers including the choreographer Blanca Li herself surprised the soiree with this special display of fashion. This video gives an idea of the spectacle by the remarkable choreographer, responsible for Daft Punk’s 1997 ‘Around The World’ music video:

There are still some tickets for Blanca Li’s show Elektro Kif this Friday and Saturday. You could even give it a try and learn some cool Elektro Kif moves in the workshop on Saturday afternoon 14:00!

On Friday at 18:00 Dance Your City Competition finals will take place live in The Clore Ballroom, free to everyone and sure to be an epic battle.

Stella McCartney’s party will go down in fashion history (Guardian article)

Daft Punk – Around the World (YouTube)

Get tickets for the show

Meet the Dance Your City Judges

Our panel of experts will choose the ultimate winner of the Dance Your City competition at the Live Final on 2 March 2012. Check out the finalists here

Blanca Li

Born in Granada Spain, Blanca Li studied dance in New York and then relocated to France where she founded her own company in 1993. Since then she has created and produced a wide range of dance and non-dance projects featuring flamenco, feature films, classical ballet, multi-media exhibitions and hip hop. In 1999 she created the award-winning Macadam Macadam featuring 11 hip hop dancers, roller skaters and a BMX biker. In recognition of her innovative contributions to contemporary dance, Blanca Li is a recipient of the Manuel de Falla Award, the Globe de Christal and the Premio Max and was named Chevalier de l´Ordre du Mérite and Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.


Kate Prince


Kate is the Artistic Director of ZooNation Dance Company which she founded in 2002. In May 2010 she became an Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells and ZooNation became a Resident Company.

In 2008 Kate directed and co-choreographed ZooNation’s five-star award-winning production Into the Hoods at the Novello Theatre which became both the first ever Hip Hop dance show to open in the West End and the longest running dance show in the West End’s history. In 2011 Kate wrote, directed and co-choreographed ZooNation’s production Some Like it Hip Hop at Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre which enjoyed a critically successful sell-out run.

Kate has choreographed for two seasons of So You Think You Can Dance (BBC) and for the movie StreetDance 3D.


Kenrick “H20” Sandy

Kenrick “H2O” Sandy is a choreographer, performer, teacher and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Oliver Awarded Boy Blue Entertainment. Kenrick’s career spans over 10 years, both nationally and internationally. Video choreographic credits include Peter Andre and Plan B, Alexandra Burke, Misteeq, Beverley Knight, Big Brovas, Victoria Beckham, Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Dizzee Rascal and All Saints. Boy Blue Entertainment’s production of Pied Piper won an Olivier Award and the company won Best Dance Act Award at the Black Entertainment Film, Fashion, Television and Arts Awards in 2010. With this incredible list of achievements Kenrick is highly recognised as one of the most accomplished Hip Hop specialists from the UK today.


Peter Maniam

PeterManiam is the Projects Manager at Breakin Convention, the UKs festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre. Launched in 2004, the festival profiles the world’s elite hip-hop performers, nurtures  UK-based talent and challenges the possibilities of Hip Hop Dance Theatre. Based at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, the festival now includes a UK tour to Plymouth, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Inverness, Sheffield, Brighton, Bristol and Leeds.


Wendy Martin

Wendy joined Southbank Centre in the Spring of 2011 as the Head of Performance and Dance. She had previously been living and working in Australia. In 2000 Wendy joined Cultural Affairs a the City of Sydney and was responsible for curating a program of outdoor performance across the city during the Olympics as well as producing the live event and broadcast for the arrival of the Olympic Flame into the City of Sydney. At the end of 2000 Wendy joined Sydney Opera House as a producer where she developed a number of significant events and productions. In 2006, Wendy was appointed Head of Theatre and Dance at Sydney Opera House and developed the international performance series “Adventures.” This program has presented work by artists including dancer Sylvie Guillem, director Peter Brook, Juliette Binoche, Akram Khan, Hofesh Shechter, Improbable Theatre, Patti Smith, and comedian Daniel Kitson. She produced Nigel Jamieson’s award winning physical theatre/dance work, Honour Bound that toured Australia, the UK and Europe in 2007. In 2008 Wendy founded SpringDance Australia’s only international contemporary dance Festival that is now a much anticipated annual event. In May 2011 she moved to London to take up the position of Head of Performance and Dance at Southbank Centre.

Conversations with Klein and Sassoon

Probably like you, I meet and talk to lots of people in any one week. Some of the conversations are uplifting and the words uttered are reaffirming, staying with me for a long time, causing me to pause and consider, shaping my mind. Other conversations are fleeting with a promise to follow up soon.

One recent conversation was with Emily Phillips from Psychologies Magazine. Emily interviewed me in December for publication in January 2012 on the moments that have changed my life. Emily captured me well. I found reading her interpretation of what motivates me extremely affirming and her insights into my loves and passions were just glorious. Just like Emily I too enjoy finding out about people and documenting the discussion and at MSL we call these events Semple Secrets.

On Saturday 4 February 2012 at 2pm, MSL will host its next Semple Secrets event at Southbank Centre. I am excited about our event as I will be in conversation with two iconic fashion designers – Roland Klein and David Sassoon. They have many things in common – they share a love of designing clothes for women, they have designed for the discerning rich and famous including the late Diana Princess of Wales and they are generous with passing on their flair for creative knowledge, particularly to the next generation. Roland and David will display a few of their celebrated dresses and talk to the audience about the inspiration behind each garment as well as divulging their secrets about working with celebrities.

Come and join us on 4 February as we would love to meet you.

Maggie Semple

Join Maggie at Southbank Centre on 4 February for Semple Secrets. Get tickets here. 

Introducing Blanca Li

Blanca Li, choreographer and director of Elektro Kif, the new Street Dance show coming to Southbank Centre in March 2012, tells us about how she got into dance, her big break and  the dance film she made that inspired our facebook competition Dance Your City ( Blanca is one of the judges for the Dance Your City Live Final on 2 March.

How did you first get into dance? 

I started at 12 as a gymnast for the Spanish national team and at 15 I decided to go into dance which I found more artistic, creative and less competitive. I admired dance since I was very little and I had always told my mother I wanted to become a dancer, I loved it! I also wanted to create my own dances, so at a young age I started making my own choreography. I could never do one without the other.

Tell us about your dance company

My dance company exists since 1992. There are between 10 and 50 dancers that works regularly with the company with really different styles like hip hop, flamenco, contemporary, classical, electro (some combine different styles too). Some dancers have been with the company for 15 years and new  ones come in every year. This keeps the energy in the company. The dancers who really know my work for a long time assist me in helping the new dancers to learn and rehearsing, recreating the shows and keeping them in good shape. I have a really good team. Since the creation of the company we have been touring around the world with 13 different full length shows, across Europe, Africa, Asia and America, performing over a thousand times.

Did you have a big break in dance?

My big moment was at seventeen when I arrived in NY to study dance at the Martha Graham School. It was a great experience that lasted 5 years, I saw the birth of Hip hop and learned about all styles of dance from all over the world.
Also it was a very important time for me when I first came to France and performed at the Avignon Off Festival. This was the starting point of my dance company.

Tell us about the video you created for the Dance Your City competition

I love very much the Eiffel Tower; it’s very modern, even if it was constructed for the Exposition Universal in 1881. I think it represents Paris and Electro Dance started in Paris, so I thought it would be great to show this dance in front of the Tower to give it an identity. The opening scene of my first feature film “Le Défi” (The Dance Challenge) is in front of the Eiffel Tower because at the time I wanted to show how French hip hop had developed as its own style and with its own identity.


Dance Your City – the making of…

So, Dance Your City is now live and we’re ready to start watching all your video submissions! In the run up to the opening of the competition there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes to prepare for the big launch day. We’ve been setting up and carefully designing the Facebook page but most importantly we’ve been filming some excellent promo videos with Soul Mavericks and Flowzaic.

The idea behind these two videos was to film two dance videos at two different iconic locations to show you guys the kind of thing we’re looking for and challenge you to go one better! Because we were feeling particularly lazy last Wednesday our fist location was right outside our office…luckily working at Southbank Centre we were surrounded with options from Big Ben to Trafalgar Square. However, we finally settled on filming by the Hayward Gallery since the brutalist architecture gives the video a real feel of London with a great view of the London Eye in the background.

Once Coopdog had finished posing…

…he and R-Qi-Tek did some free style breaking interspersed with a couple of bits that they planned before hand. As all true professionals do they pulled this off first take (or maybe second!). It ended up looking something like this:

Flowzaic wanted to film somewhere iconic but a little different. Myself (filming) and Jessica, who programmes dance events here, met the girls at Greenwich foot tunnel. Well, technically we met at Starbucks and had a coffee, but don’t tell my boss that.

We filmed down in the tunnel which has given a really urban, grimy, dark feel to the video, which reminded me a little of The Prodigy’s music video for Firestarter. The girls put together a great routine with a little hint of boogaloo and some locking thrown in, so good that a passerby threw some money their way! Check out the finished product:

We hope you like what we’ve put together, but really these videos are just a starting point for you guys to go out and get inspired and creative. Find a location you feel is iconic – wherever you might live and then show us what you can do for the chance to perform on the Southbank Centre stage. Best of luck!

Enter the competition:
Join the discussion on twitter: #danceyourcity

Get ready for Bollywood dance and music with The Bollywood Trip this December

Dive into a world of drama and mayhem with The Bollywood Trip, here from 12 – 18 December at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Direct from its Copenhagen premiere with five star reviews, The Bollywood Trip hits London with a bang. East meets West as an international cast of actors, dancers and musicians present this tragi-comedy by Republique, one of Denmark’s most acclaimed theatre companies.

Get ready for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Bollywood! And here are some translated five star reviews to wet your appetite!

“Republique especially concentrates on a modern interpretation of “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” this autumn: The performance “The Bollywood Trip” spiced up with lots of Bollywood dance by the prominent Indian kathak choreographer, Gauri Sharma Tripathi.

Bollywood movies are a media for normal people to escape from reality. For instance if you are driving a rickshaw in India and working for 15 hours a day it’s a relief to go to the cinema and indulge in a Bollywood movie that use the whole gamut of emotions. The dancing in the movies is not just movements but has a long tradition, and the feelings are the backbone of Bollywood. And so they will be in The Bollywood Trip,” says Indian Gauri Sharma Tripathi and emphasises that it’s important to understand the great impact of Bollywood movies in India and that the singing and dancing scenes are the most important elements of the movies.

She is the leading modern kathak choreographer of international theatre. With London as her base for the last 14 years she has worked closely together with the British dance star Akram Khan and created amazing kathak solos in several of his work, inclusive “Gnosis” which was shown her in Denmark last year.

(The show) characterises kathak and Bollywood dance that the rhythm of the feet is very complex.    

Kathak is one of the classic dances that are done standing with your body straight. It’s a very flexible dance that can be formed according to the circumstances. For instance you can exclude the rhythms of the feet and say it with your voice instead and you can use many different fragments from kathak in Bollywood dance.

(For The Bollywood Trip) the dance is an incorporated part of the whole performance. However, the four dancers in the performance, who come from India and London and are professional kathak dancers like Gauri, will make sure we get some pure, sparkling and happy dance scenes.    

 Kathak is after all a dance that was traditionally used for storytelling and we will try to incorporate really hard core kathak movements in the story. But all dancers are also very skilled at many other dance expressions like Indian folk and chhau dance. We will try to make the story move through the dance. But movements are not enough by itself. You also need a strong presence on stage. Both mime and gestures are important elements of the kathak as well as the Bollywood dance. The hands can tell a whole story but the posture of the head, the face and the eyes are also very important. Eyes talk and communicate a lot. It’s possible to have one scene with only the eyes dancing.

(Berlingske, 6/9-11 *****)

“The Indian-British choreographer Gauri Sharma Tripathi created a whirling choreography placed between catwalk and kathak dance that forces the audience to give in to this ‘License to Dance’…the aesthetics of The Bollywood Trip is foremost the one of the theatre concert – with cool images of dancers waving their long, black hair down the stage slope.” (Information, 09.10.2011)


This Is It: Interview with Matthias Sperling and Vicky Malin

One of the beautiful things about This Is It – a solo choreographed by Matthias Sperling and performed by Candoco dancer Vicky Malin – is that the piece starts with a self-affirming image only to move past it and dig into what else ‘this is it’ can mean.

Given this observation as a starting point, both Matthias and Vicky discuss what they wanted to make visible, how they are broadening their own boundaries and an attempt to reconcile Yvonne Rainer with spectacle. What arises from both performer and maker is a shared desire for dance audiences to express themselves and not let the show stop at the edge of the stage.  

In discussion with Alexandrina Hemsley

MATTHIAS: I like the idea that the piece’s title has this really affirmative thing about it and then that we spend some time together questioning what it is. We spend our time and invest our attention in questioning the situation that we, the audience, are sharing with Vicky in that moment, so perhaps what this is, might be a shifting thing.

VICKY: Yeah I suppose that it is an exploration of things that are constantly changing. I feel like when I perform the solo, my relationship with the audience is constantly changing which I think is one of the exciting things of performing that piece. It, is about that space at that particular time.

It was really clear for me that there was an encountering of yourself, the space and the audience.

VICKY: Absolutely, yes.

Did you spend time in the studio with that kind of balance in mind or was the studio time very much about yourself and your body?

VICKY: If you are in a studio then there might just be two or three of you and you are in a different space but I think the same principles are going on [as in a theatre].  I’m going to get a lot more feedback and a lot more reactions from an audience full of people, but I think very much from the beginning, the process was about awareness of the space and people in it – it wasn’t just me being all internal in my head and in my body.

MATTHIAS: Definitely. Something that both Vicky and I were interested in from the beginning was thinking about how Vicky and how the work are practicing their relationship with the audience and how the audience is practicing their relationship with Vicky. I am very interested in Deborah Hay and I like the way that she talks about the only materials that she works with as time, space, self and other. Sometimes, I like to think that This Is It refers to those things in the sense that this is all we need to let the exchange of performance happen.

This is what we have and let’s see what we can do with it.

MATTHIAS: Exactly, yeah.

But then, the really fascinating thing is the piece has some very extravagant moments. It seems that within those quite abstract, specific notions you can still find room to play with theatre.

MATTHIAS: Definitely. That whole thing comes from an interest in playing with our expectations of spectacle and experience, and going to different extremes with that.

Matthias, you mention Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A (1965) as an inspiration for the piece…

MATTHIAS: I was just thinking about that again today! I really loved reading Catherine Wood’s book on Trio A[1] and there were a lot of things in it that I was interested in exploring in this piece with Vicky. A lot of them had to do with the idea of the power of the individual and the way that each of us practices our relationship with ‘the society of the spectacle’ – if I can use that expression from Guy Debord (1967) – which I guess nowadays would be like the advertising and celebrity culture.

Can you say more about those two influences?

MATTHIAS: Well, there was something about how Catherine Wood talked about Yvonne Rainer opening up new possibilities for the performance of the self that really directly related to what I was interested in working on. Also something about her constant expansion of the space that she had available to operate in, always widening her range of freedom in lots of different ways. I think also, the way that Yvonne Rainer in her ‘No Manifesto’ (1965) so clearly rejects spectacle, glamour and magic and make-believe. In lots of ways, I relate to and really believe in that and then at the same time, I recognise that I live in the society of the spectacle, Rupaul is my hero and I am happily infected by Lady Gaga. One of things that I thought was important was to deal with the way that both of those opposing tendencies are part of our daily reality, and we all need to retain the freedom to choose to draw a boundary between ourselves and the overwhelming force of the society of the spectacle, but we equally need to be able to participate in it because it’s what surrounds us and connects us. So we need to not reject it, but negotiate our relationship with it. In fact, Catherine Wood talks about Trio A as being that kind of a negotiation already rather than an all out rejection.

Writing in the Village Voice, Jill Johnston saw “a heroisim of ordinary people[2]” within Rainer’s piece, We Will Run (1963) and within This Is It, I felt a similar kind of courageous presence.

MATTHIAS: Wow, that’s fantastic [laughs]

VICKY: Yeah, put that bit in!

MATTHIAS: That was exactly what we were going for!

[laughs] It was very apparent! I also think that the piece’s courage came from the moments of vulnerability. What you were saying about expanding the space we have, seems so relevant for an individual dancer to be bold in that space of performing a solo.

VICKY: Through performing it, I’m finding already that the questions are always there. All these things that I have to juggle. But what I am seeing, is that as I perform, my confidence grows and my ability to be in that space in that moment with those people gets more interesting, exciting and enjoyable. I see the work as something that can just continue to develop. When I look back to the premier, I see a big change in myself, and my thoughts towards performing.

MATTHIAS: I think that’s so interesting because we were talking a lot in the beginning about this idea of moving the boundaries of the self and whether we could make something in which the audience could see a movement of the boundaries of the self. I think what you’ve just said Vicky, is about a movement of the boundaries of the self occurring over a period of time.

VICKY: Absolutely, yeah.

MATTHIAS: And, I’m still really fascinated by to what extent an audience can possibly see that in the movement within one fifteen minute performance. In some ways, I think that’s difficult. I think that we have tried to point towards that through your shift in the piece from being a contemporary dancer to being a pop superstar, but I think it’s so fantastic to hear about how you’re experiencing that actually happening over a period of time.

What is the solo like to watch?

MATTHIAS: Vicky makes me laugh so much! I have such a good time watching it. I really do love watching Vicky do the piece and I find it so thrilling as well to watch the audience. I’ve been in three different audiences out of the performances that Vicky has done and each time has been so incredibly different. One of the things that I would wish to become more apparent for audiences who watch the piece is that they are as much a part of the piece as Vicky is. Sometimes I get the feeling that a lot of people watching this piece assume that the piece finishes at the edge of the stage and I really, really don’t see it that way at all.

VICKY: And also, I think it’s fair play if someone watches it and they don’t find it funny at times, but if they do, I wish that they would feel free to express that. In the Queen Elizabeth Hall performance, when I was doing a particular movement, my brother just laughed out loud quite boldly and someone in the audience turned to him and gave him the evil eye as if to say, ‘What are you doing laughing?’. He felt like saying, “She’s my sister and she’s being ridiculous! Can’t you see that?’.

It provides interesting questions; what do people think is interesting or amusing? What can and can’t they express an emotion to?

MATTHIAS: One of my first desires with this commission came out of watching Candoco perform at the Queen Elizabeth Hall the year before. I was watching Sarah Michelson’s The Hangman (2010) and I just thought it was fantastic! It was so articulate and so intelligently funny in such a brilliant way. I was absolutely laughing so hard through the whole thing although not particularly out loud. I was amazed that I felt like the whole audience around me was so silent and so uncomfortable. I felt like it was a really missed opportunity for those audience members who didn’t allow themselves the freedom to laugh. One of the things I was interested in exploring was how an audience can allow themselves the freedom to laugh and how that can allow everyone in the room to get more out of the experience.

Maybe Vicky, as much as you say you shift and relocate your self during the performance, the audience need to take that up upon themselves as well… do you try and alter the state of the audience during your performance or is it about you trying something new with your body?

VICKY: I think it’s both and it’s simultaneous. I am aware of my assumptions of the audience’s reactions and the feelings of sensations that I am getting back and I do test that. I almost can’t articulate it but it is very much in that moment. I wouldn’t say that the whole time I am in one kind of state, I’d say I was changing. Then of course there are moments when I’m feeling a little bit out there [laughs] and vulnerable. I guess it is understanding that it’s okay for me to feel that and that it is okay for the audience to see that in the moment. Then there are also times when I feel really happy and in control and just wanting to do my thing!! Get myself out there!!

Did you see yourself as part of a bigger statement about the company?

VICKY: It’s a big deal for the company, it’s a big deal for myself and Matthias as well but I felt like it was a great opportunity and I really just wanted to grab it and go somewhere with it. Matthias as well is so involved in it and is such a part of it…

MATTHIAS: I’m still not getting out of your big hair!

VICKY: [laughs] …which is really nice because I feel so supported and I feel like I could phone up after a strange performance and we’d be able to talk about it…it was a really nice process to do but then that process is continuing.

MATTHIAS:  I’m really aware of how much of yourself you have put into the work Vicky, and I’m really aware of what a big ask it is. We’re doing this…well…you are doing this quite out there thing and you are putting yourself out there in so many different ways in such a short space of time. I feel like you absolutely deserve every ounce of support I can give you and everyone else’s too. I love the way that after the first few performances, the rest of the company made videos of themselves dancing and singing around backstage. It’s amazing!

VICKY: Yeah, they know all the words! To be honest, I have to try and fight my costume off them otherwise they’d have it on all the time.

It’s the dream of every dancer to have some shiny, shiny thing to wear.

MATTHIAS:  That’s right, and now we’re just starting to admit it to ourselves!

The song from This Is It is on iTunes, where did the inspiration for that come from?

MATTHIAS:  That was really an important part for me from the beginning. Ideally, I have been aiming for the audience to know very little about what they are going to experience before the piece starts but then that afterwards, they have access to lots of information about it. The song being released on iTunes, is one of the things that makes the distinction between whether Vicky’s activity is a real activity or a pretend activity. My interest is in the doing of real activities and so I really believe that when she sings her song, Vicky is a real pop star and her single is a real single; it’s really out there in the world. It’s not about a bedroom, standing with your hairbrush and your fantasy that maybe one day you could be a pop star. Vicky is actually doing what she is doing in front of an audience with the single already released and that distinction is really important to me.

I wonder how many audience members will cross that divide?

MATTHIAS: That’s the whole other thing then about where the performance ends and where the boundaries of the self end as well. And how these networks could go out further and further and further if we are prepared to see them that way.

The song This Is It by Vicky Malin is available on iTunes © 2011 Robin Rimbaud/Matthias Sperling

 by Alexandrina Hemsley from Collective Movement

[1] Wood, C. (2007). Yvonne Rainer; The Mind is a Muscle. London: Afterall Books

[2] 1963, p9 cited in Sally Banes, 2003, p.8

Candoco Dance Company Lab: A Personal Response

As part of the events celebrating the 20th anniversary of Candoco Dance Company Southbank Centre hosted 30 dance artists from UK, Europe and overseas, disabled and non-disabled, for the Candoco International Artist Lab, 9-15 October 2011.

The lab participants met Sunday to Thursday in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall for morning workshops with Dance Artists who had worked with Candoco; in the afternoons they engaged in choreographic and performance research, within six group each led by a maker.

On Saturday, the makers with their performers presented their work and disclosed to the audience some of the ideas, questions and processes they had been exploring during the lab.

The lab Artists also participated in other events part of dance Umbrella and Candoco celebrations, attending talks and performances.


Candoco international lab…


one evening

one afternoon

three mornings


reflecting on dance practices


the sensory memory

the emotional memory

the movement memory


the experience




finding connections

finding a connection

finding another connection









Heart-Mind opening



My experience





being supported

providing support


Energy and support

Grounding and opening


‘Same question different experience’

‘Do what you think it is’

‘inviting being seen’




At the sides people become witnesses of our performance practice


A populated group


A large dance floor

The Clore ballroom

the unknown

the calmness in which we wait

the smiles

a welcoming atmosphere



trillions of breathing cells

‘What if…’


by Irene Cena from Collective Movement