Written by Adrianna Michalska, independent artist and Candoco Administrator
Colourful patterns of the floor, Christmas smells from the local vendors, and the echoing immersive space of Alexandra Palace.
They are scattered somehow on the edges, waiting nervously. Participants travelled from all directions to attend this Candoco workshop, some of them without any experience of dancing and not knowing what to expect from the next hour.
I use the slippery floor and the advantage of appearing incognito without my Candoco t-shirt to seamlessly approach some of them.
‘Do you think it’ll be hard?’
‘I don’t have shoes. I have my dance heels but they said not to bring them’ (I remember clearly that email exchange)
‘Do you think I should have brought them anyway?’
‘Oh, so many wheelchairs. Should I be in a wheelchair to?’
‘I’ve never done contemporary, you see’
‘What if I won’t be able to follow?
Each time I try to dispel this slight air of anxious anticipation and reassure that it’s the beauty of their own movement, however it appears, that really matters.
In the next hour we float, we balance on imaginary lines, we challenge ourselves, we find movement around each other’s bodies, exploring possibilities and realising how we can transcend our boundaries. A Candoco Artist, moves around playing music, kids’ voices echo, I find connections with my partners as we sink into improvisation tasks. We slide through the workshop till the last part when the whole group comes together. All kind of shapes, sizes, ages, conditions... we reach together, the harmony of human diversity.
When we finish, I feel a slight change that is difficult to name or grasp. I receive hugs, nods, I notice some faces glowing with content, I hear some voices saying it was better than they expected. We’re all somehow closer, cherishing this short journey we’ve made together.
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