NSCD alumni and graduates are set to perform on the flagship BBC One show Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday 25 November for a unique performance with Candoco Dance Company. Toke Strandby, Candoco company member since 2014 and company apprentice Fabian Jackson will both perform in a group dance alongside strictly professionals, choreographed by Arlene Phillips, Jason Gilkison and Trent Whiddon. UPDATE: Watch the performance on BBC iplayer
Candoco Dance Company, which employs disabled and non-disabled dancers, is the first contemporary dance company invited to perform on the show which has been running since 2004. The programme receives millions of viewers each weekend, and it is hoped the company's presence will raise awareness of both contemporary and integrated dance for new audiences.
Fabian Jackson studied on the Access Diploma and the BA at NSCD in Leeds, graduating in 2018 with a first class honours degree. Originally from the east coast of England, and now living in East London, he joined Candoco in August as an apprentice through the Postgraduate Apprenticeship Scheme (PAS) at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
working with [the Strictly Pros] has informed my performative range as a dancer, adding another facet to my experience as a repertoire mover. And, this is ultimately what I hope to achieve this year with Candoco - a conscious versatility that I can apply to any project.
The possibility to meet fascinating people from all over the world, share movement vocabulary, and research, create or perform, is one of my favourite things about being a dancer. The more people I meet, the more artistic histories I can add to my own references, and broaden my understanding of dance.
Charlotte Darbyshire and Ben Wright, Artistic Co-Directors of Candoco said:
As a repertory dance company, with learning and inclusive practice at its heart, we are committed to exploring and presenting a diverse range of dance performance, in a variety of contexts, for as wide an audience as possible. This invitation from the BBC to perform on its flagship show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ offered us an opportunity to do exactly that. At its heart Strictly has a similar heartbeat to Candoco, we embrace dance in all of its iterations.
This Sunday, Candoco Dance Company will show a snapshot of who we are and what we do in front of a wider mainstream audience of 10 million people. We hope that they’ll be intrigued to find out more about our work.
Images: Camilla Greenwell Photography