Candoco Dance Company appoints new Artistic Co-Directors

Candoco Dance Company, June 22nd, 2017
Ben Wright and Charlotte Darbyshire

We are delighted to announce that Ben Wright and Charlotte Darbyshire have been appointed as the new Artistic Co-Directors of Candoco, as Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado step down this year.

As friends and colleagues for over 15 years, Ben and Charlotte will follow in the footsteps of Pedro and Stine by fulfilling the role of Artistic Co-Directors in partnership. The pair bring complementary skills to Candoco, sharing a vision and commitment to commissioning a range of high quality work and exploring imaginative approaches to public engagement.

Charlotte Darbyshire has 25 years’ experience as a professional dance artist, specialising in dance and disability. As a founder member of Candoco, Charlotte was instrumental in the early development of the company’s philosophy and vision, and now has a reputation as a leading artist working at the forefront of inclusive creative practice, research and debate. She has led and designed projects all over the world, including Croatia, Bangladesh and Colombia, and is gaining a reputation as an award-winning film-maker.

Ben Wright has also been involved with dance for over 25 years, as a performer, choreographer, producer and director. Most recently he was Associate Artistic Director with Skånes Dansteater in Sweden (2014-2017), and is presently engaged as their Associate Choreographer. He launched his own company, bgroup, in 2008, and has choreographed for many opera and theatre houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Opera, Donmar Warehouse and the Young Vic. He was a 2015/16 Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme.

Ben and Charlotte 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. Learning and artist development are at the heart of our vision, in particular seeking ways to best support disabled artists into leadership positions of their choice. 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 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. It is an exciting appointment that provides a unique combination of an understanding of Candoco’s values with a fresh new approach to what we can achieve in the future. I am very much looking forward to working with Ben and Charlotte.”