CanDoCo, Microphobia & The Human Suite

Review in Issue 16-2 | Summer 2004

The first piece, choreographed by Bettina Strickler and Luca Silvestrini from Protein Dance, begins with a race across the stage divided by the leads of microphones, an exciting and interesting take. The piece uses microphones throughout, using the leads as part of the choreography, swiftly passing power from one performer to another as the microphones are deftly worked into the movement, making great use of their amplification possibilities with both movement and voice.

CanDoCo prides itself on being ‘a professional dance company specialising in the integration of disabled and non-disabled dancers’. There were, however, many moments throughout the piece where the two performers in wheelchairs (David Lock and Marc Brew) seemed to be just watching as the able-bodied dancers took the choreography for themselves. This was infuriating to watch. It was almost as if the choreographers did not know how to deal with the possibilities presented to them and consequently ended up just using the wheelchairs for creating speed and energy rather than using the dancers within the wheelchairs. Just one example was the start of a love duo between Marc Brew and Stine Nilsen, both excellent dancers with huge potential. They began what could have been a stunning love duet – Marc completely out of his wheelchair – but it ended all too quickly without developing at all.

Stephen Petronio created the second piece called The Human Suite, based on Tartini’s The Devil’s Sonata punctuated with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. It was almost as if the piece had been choreographed by e-mail and learnt parrot fashion by the performers. Only Chisato Minamimura seemed to me really in the piece; she alone struck me with her presence. I left the theatre with the overriding ego of the very talented ‘non-disabled bodied’ dancers still with me – and an empty feeling of wasted opportunity.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-2
p. 28