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Candoco dance company appoints new artistic directors

Charlotte Darbyshire and Ben Wright, artistic directors of Candoco
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Charlotte Darbyshire and Ben Wright have been announced as the new artistic directors of Candoco dance company.

They will take over from Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado, who have led the company of disabled and non-disabled dancers for the last 10 years.

Darbyshire was one of the company’s founding members, and is also a film-maker. Wright was associate artistic director of Skanes Dansteater in Sweden from 2014 to 2017 and launched his own company, Bgroup, in 2008.

Darbyshire and Wright said: “We believe that work of great impact is never achieved alone. As artistic collaborators at heart, our dual leadership will be based on a progressive and evolving conversation with one another, the company, new and old partners and the public, to ensure the relevance, sustainability and reach of Candoco’s pioneering work.”

Seeking ways to help disabled artists gain leadership positions is “at the heart of our vision”, they explained.

They added: “We want to think deeply about difference and to find different ways to inspire others through distinct and unpredictable creative choices. We are both immensely proud and excited to have this opportunity to continue Candoco’s legacy.”

Kamran Mallick, chair of Candoco, said: “I am delighted that Ben and Charlotte will be taking Candoco forward, building on the legacy of [Candoco founder] Celeste Dandeker-Arnold, Stine and Pedro. Their shared knowledge and experience will continue to challenge expectations about who can dance, pushing for more training, access, visibility and opportunity for disabled artists in the UK and abroad.”

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