Here at Move Dance we love to acknowledge that dance is for everyone, whether you are young, old, disabled or non-disabled, dance can be partaken by anyone! So to celebrate this, we have put together a few of our favourite Inclusive Dance Companies that you need to know about, from the global Candoco, to the challenging perceptions of Anjali, each company celebrates inclusivity, whilst making a difference through dance in their own individual ways...
Candoco Dance Company
As a world-leading professional Dance Company and the UK’s leading inclusive dance group, Candoco are continually challenging perceptions of dance, joining together disabled and non-disabled dancers and creating spectacular work that is performed all over the world! With a 28 year history, the company was founded in 1991 by Celeste Dandeker-Arnold OBE and Adam Benjamin, both British Dance artists who initially were developing workshops for dancers with spinal injuries, then quickly growing into one of the most popular contemporary dance companies in the world! From touring in many famous cities, Candoco have also performed in the Paralympics closing Ceremony in 2012 and have very recently become the first contemporary dance company to appear on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, where they performed with the Strictly Professionals to over 10 million people - a massive achievement!
Watch Candoco and Strictly’s collaboration here:
Anjali Dance Company
Described as ‘One of the brightest companies in British Dance’ (Donald Hutera, The Times, Times Out, Dance Europe), Anjali Dance Company is a UK based contemporary dance company for individuals with learning disabilities. Being founded over 25 years ago by Nicole Thomson, now artistic director of the company, Anjali continues to change perceptions of the artistic potential of individuals with learning disabilities, performing all across the UK and even across the globe in cities such as Lisbon and Berlin! Their aims include creating original and new possibilities through movement and most importantly to challenge society’s preconceptions of what dance is seen to be.
To see Anjali Dance Company dancers talk about their experience of being in the company, click the link below:
Stopgap Dance Company
With a notion to collaborate, Stopgap Dance Company are also a group of disabled and non-disabled dancers, wanting to make discoveries about everyone in the company through movement! Starting out as a community project in 1995, the development of the company began to grow and happened gradually for 7 years. A groundbreaking moment then happened with Stopgap becoming the first company in the UK to combine dancers with learning or physical disabilities and non-disabled dancers! This proved that it was possible for a collaboration such as this to happen, breaking conventions of dance and being extremely successful. The company also acts as a role model to all the other inclusive dance companies around the world, proving that it is possible to make such wonderful work with all different kinds of people to such a high professional level.
To see Stopgap dancers Dave Toole and Laura Jones perform their duet ‘Artificial Things’ click here:
So there you have it! 3 of our favourite UK based inspirational Inclusive Dance companies, each breaking boundaries of dance and succeeding massively! If you have any more companies that you think we should know about, then why not tell us over on our Instagram page @movedancewear as we would love to find out!
Image Credit: Frock by Stopgap Dance Company. Photo: Chris Parkes