Candoco Dance Development Day
By Paul Davidson and DJ
We met up at Greenwich Station to meet with Kasia (Corali Facilitator) and walked together to the Clock Tower. Today was our day of heading to the Candoco professional class in the morning followed by the Candoco Dance Development Day, which was led by Megan. We arrived at Greenwich Dance Agency; this was Pauls first time of experiencing GDA. Paul said the studios were beautiful, old and very big. We saw everyone warming up and it was a beautiful calming space, we gradually got ourselves into the morning Candoco class. The morning was very calm and the atmosphere was friendly. We slowly woke up the body and mind naturally. Paul remembered that that they massaged a partner with tapping and switched so everyone had a turn to relive any tensions in the muscles. Then we stretched out the muscles ready for the day’s session.
We started on the floor and felt the weight and heaviness of our bodies, using rocking, tapping, swinging to gradually wake us up. We used our own flow and rhythm based on our bodies individual needs. After this Paul remembers working in duets working with the ideas of lines, circles and improvising your dance flow and isolation. We did this to remind ourselves of the body and to refocus on remembering to “release” in order to find freedom in our movement. We travelled from wall to wall using those ideas. DJ shared the travelling experience with two new people in the group using the sequence to travel from one side to the other.
Communication through eye contact was something that was really important to Paul, we were told to use this as a way communicating in our duet to use the body and eye contact to communicate when dancing.
DJ was very excited to see they had a live percussionist who played the drums and piano. It has been a while since he had done a class with a musician and felt as though he had a strong engagement with the class. The musician worked with our improvisation of the group and the individual dancer’s, which was amazing!
Paul – “it’s a very nice feeling to have live music, its like you want to dance in a new world and dance differently because new dance is exciting. It helps me feel that I can believe in myself and am I being creative enough. It gives me more creativity’
We started working in two circular groups and connecting the group’s together using body parts as a way of finding another dancer. It gave us that feeling as though we were always connected.
After this we both had an hour to have lunch and a catch up before we went into the Candoco Dancer Development Day.
The afternoon session had such a great flow and we were both pushed outside of our comfort zones and looked at new ways of working/moving. We worked on an idea that there was plants and grass that covered the whole of the dance floor and we were asked not to destroy them and to keep moving in the motion. Lucy and Toke from Candoco told us to keep it moving but not to use rolling, or huge impact on the floor. This proved to be quite difficult…….
“The floor work was something that felt very different to how I have moved before. It was awkward, but awkward can be good, the more you do the awkward the better you improve as a dancer” Paul
“ It took me some time to figure out what I was doing but once I broke through it I went with it, it was a great sensation. I really learnt something there that day. To let my mind sink and to really be relaxed and let my mind go and let my body take over” DJ
We gradually moved to our feet and worked more creatively in partners, we both made a conscious effort to work with new people in the room and started with a really fun creative game. We played with connections using different body parts and how to break away. The group then worked its way into becoming one big group. We had amazing connections with people in the group and the Candoco Dancers gave us great ways of how to work with each other and experimenting with the movement.
The second part of the class we watched some of the Candoco repertoire and Paul recognised Toke one of the Danish dancers who was also facilitating on the day and supported Paul which his dancing. Megan then took us to working with ideas around based on the repertoire. Working with how your body moves and responding to your partners response. The last exercise of the day we were given 5 different commands and improvised based on those ideas.
We had a great day and came away with so much as individual dancers……
DJ “As a dancers I found new ways of communicating through the body and through the connection of other people in the space. Going along on the day, I learnt so much and had a great day. Candoco kept it professional and kept the pace going. We had a strong engagement within the group. I loved the rolling technique, I never thought I would master it and was pushed out my comfort zone but I GOT IT!!’
Paul “ I found the day very exciting and discovered new ways to work creatively, it was a way of developing your freedom of your body. It felt SO enjoyable!!!!! I am an experimental dancer so learning something new and different was exciting. Making something new is exciting and I enjoyed working being in engaged with the process, it makes a lot more sense to me as a dancer. I had to believe in myself and going along to the dancers development day made me have a lot more belief in my movement”