In September 2013, UK dance company Candoco, comprised of both disabled and non disabled dancers, delivered two spectacular performances in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as part of GREAT British week in Vietnam. This was a major event to kick-off the GREAT British week in Vietnam celebrating the 40th anniversary of Vietnam and UK diplomatic relations and 20th anniversary of a British Council presence in Vietnam.
Dancing a programme featuring work with a theatrical flair entitled, ‘Three Acts of Play’, Candoco performed: ‘Studies for C’ by Javier de Frutos, ‘Set and Reset/Reset’ by Trisha Brown and ‘Imperfect Storm’ by Wendy Houstoun.
Marking the first time disabled artists danced at the Hanoi Opera House, Candoco’s run in Hanoi opened with a special presentation, ‘Watching’ choreographed by Candoco and performed by four disabled children from The Will to Live Centre (Nghi luc Song) and artists from Hanoi Youth Theatre, which was the result of two week-long intensive workshops initiated to challenge perceptions of disability.
Candoco also brought the beautiful ‘In Translation’ by Emanuel Gat to the Europe meets Asia Contemporary Dance Festival at Hanoi Youth Theatre.
While in Ho Chi Minh City, Candoco conducted a dance workshop for street and migrant children, carried out in collaboration with SOUL Academy, an institution focusing on music education, founded by Thanh Bui a finalist in the sixth season of the Australian Idol contest.
Candoco Dance company was founded in 1991 by Celeste Dandeker and Adam Benjamin and grew quickly into the first professional dance company focused on the integration of disabled and non-disabled dancers. The company represented Britain in the 2008 Handover Ceremonies at Beijing Olympics and performed at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.