Candoco Dance Company
Choreographed by Fin Walker of Walker Dance Park Music, Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards nominee and recipient of Jerwood Award. In a fast and furious pilgrimage through the emotions, the driving internal momentum of The Journey is matched by the exhilarating performances of Candoco’s dancers. Impulses of abandonment are punctuated with bursts of stillness, all intimately entwined with the rhythmic music. A complex and arresting journey of discovery.
Fin Walker last worked with Candoco when she choreographed Shadow, as part of our 2002/2003 Triple Bill, which received rave reviews. She is a highly acclaimed choreographer, performer and teacher, who formed her company WalkerDanceParkMusic alongside composer Ben Park, and has collaborated with many of the top names in dance. She is a recipient of the Jerwood Choreographic Award and is a finalist for a Critics Circle National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography.
Walker and Candoco make an excellent match. The Journey is every bit as arresting as their previous collaboration, Shadow. Once again the people on stage know how to pull each other’s chains. Their interactions have a cut and thrust, a grip and swing that reaches for and squeezes the viewer’s guts.
Donald Hutera for Upfront, South Bank Magazine, May 2006
Choreography :Fin Walker
Lighting Design: Ben Ormerod
Costume Design: Jackie Galloway
Composer: Ben Park
Performed by Marc Brew, Bettina Carpi, Victoria Fox, Pedro Machado, Chisato Minamimura, Stine Nilsen & James O’Shea
Running Time: 30 minutes
Nor, crucially, are we asked to ignore the differences between this trio and the five able-bodied members of the company. What is both brilliant and bracing about Fin Walker's new work, The Journey, is her fearlessness in exploiting those differences. In a series of yanking, twisting physical encounters that push all the cast to their limits, Walker has Brew barrelling at dangerous speeds in his wheelchair as other dancers fly across his shoulders and lap; she has O'Shea thrown dizzyingly across the stage, and dancing such ferocious, articulate manoeuvres on his hands that he turns his lack of legs into a beautiful and unsettling advantage.
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian
The Journey, choreographed by Fin Walker, sees the seven-strong company hurtle through a jagged series of confrontations. In each of these we sense a counterpoint between challenge and trust, and a thrumming, erotic tension.
So Marc Brew, who has lost the use of his legs, performs a duet with able-bodied Bettina Carpi, who alternately lifts and drops him, whirling him across the stage like an unrolling carpet. The fact that Carpi has the muscular edge in these exchanges doesn't mean that she controls the process; it just means that certain duties are reassigned, certain traditions subverted.
And as their body language makes clear, neither dancer is complaining about that. Walker's strength in this piece, as in her previous work for CandoCo, is that she isn't tempted to reinstate imaginary, fully abled dancers within the bodies of disabled dancers. Instead, she is alive to the often startling possibilities of their alternative physicality. So while Brew's body is wasted, it is also highly portable and manoeuvrable.
And while James O'Shea has no legs - both were amputated in 1998 - he announces himself by climbing down from his wheelchair and using his powerful arms to launch himself into ballistic, stage-devouring leaps.
Luke Jennings, The Observer