Deaf, Professional Development, Travel

Placement with Candoco Dance Company

For those who don’t know what Candoco Dance Company is, the company is the contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers.  For more information, you can visit:

I have started my two weeks placement with Candoco Dance Company yesterday (Monday 13th Jan) and so far I am enjoying my experience with Candoco Dance Company.  It was almost as if I was home although it is not because I am on a two week placement.

I wasn’t sure what to expect on the first day that I didn’t bring my clothes with me for the class.  I did the first half however I didn’t do the second half because it involved movements. It is quite interesting to watch others do the movement in terms of stillness, silence and connection of movement.  They all have different ideas of what it means to them.  Quite interesting to watch them moving although they may be disabled or non-disabled … yet it felt like it is not there. It was beautiful to watch.  I am hoping for a powerful dance piece similar to this in Australia.

After lunch, I headed to Candoco Dance Company’s office to meet with Celeste Dandeker-Arnold whom is one of the founder of Candoco Dance Company.  For a brief history, you can view: and

She is such a lovely lady and she used to sign back in the old days however she couldn’t now because of her disability.  We talked about how she co-founded the Candoco Dance Company how I could establish a company in Brisbane similar to Candoco.  Also we talked about my arts and what I hope to see happen.

She certainly has planted the seed and I have started thinking about things that I have never thought of.  For instance, I have started thinking about the project that I wanted to work as a solo artist called “The Curious Pixie”.  It just a 10 to 15 minutes solo performance.  And I would like to establish a mixed arts company comprising of dance, theatre and circus arts as well as education for theatrical interpreting.  It is a big ask of myself really.

Firstly, I will just focus on what I have started – the Deaf Arts Queensland initiative through Access Arts Inc and focusing on solo performance as a aerial dancer.  And eventually when I do have a team together to establish a local company in Brisbane, we can go from there.  I really need to learn about philanthropy, applying for grants as an organization perspective and so forth.  Exciting time ahead.

Today, I bought my clothes this time and I did partake the contemporary dance class taught by Pedro Machado.  It was easygoing and not heavy thank goodness. I feel so unfit after 6 weeks of travelling through Canada and Europe where I am just walking and stretching when I can.

I enjoyed being part of the class and I felt like I was part of the team although I am not and they are producing a performance, which I won’t be able to see.   This is the production they are working on which I will observe during the rehearsal for the next two weeks to learn about the creative development process.

Personal Experience

This process has triggered me to think about further education in dance, theatre, innovative technologies and aerial dance.  For example, I would love to become a professional aerial dancer that is fused with other skills such as ballet, contemporary, latin and ballroom dance.  I have been doing latin and ballroom dancing for 5 years before joining the circus.  I still remember the steps, the rhythms.  Last year, I started doing ballet and contemporary classes with 2Ballerinas and I absolutely loving it and would like to fuse it with aerial dance.

It is a dream worth achieving and I would like to aim higher.  I am looking forward to what this year will bring.  I just applied for Brisbane City Council Young and Emerging Artist Fellowship and will be applying for two other individuals grant soon.  I look forward to experimenting with the skills that I am learning on this travel.

3 thoughts on “Placement with Candoco Dance Company”

  1. that place looks amazing, hope you get an amazing time there. Thanks for sharing your experience racheal, it is a different way to learn to know you.

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