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Shadow:
Candoco Dance Company

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Choreographer: Fin Walker

Costume Designer: Ben Maher

Lighting Designer: Lucy Carter

Composer: Ben Park

Music recorded by The Ben Park Ensemble

Performed by Suzanne Cowan, Jurg Koch, Pedro Machado, Stine Nilsen, Welly O’Brien and David Lock

Year: 2002

Running Time: 25 minutes

Fast-paced and furious, Shadow by Fin Walker is performed with photographic precision that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Interspersed with snapshots of stillness and moments of reflection the end result is exuberant, powerful and totally absorbing.

 

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 in 1998 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.

Sad and melancholic, the artists’ faces downcast, Shadow defies its expectations and produces quick-paced, high-energy movement and dance. Expertly choreographed, the performers dart from person to person, always making contact, providing constant support for each other. A mixture of mutual dependency yet fierce independence, Shadow achieves a remarkable effect. 

Jenny Penton for Manchester on Stage, 13 November 2002

 

Certain performing modes suit CandoCo's mix of able-bodied and disabled dancers particularly well: haughtiness, anger, sex, mystery, power. All these emotions fall well outside the soggy image that dogged the company's early years, but in CandoCo's latest programme there is little caring and sharing on view. The three choreographers who have collaborated with the group simply take the performers (who include two wheelchair-users and a dancer with an amputated leg) as a source of inspiration.

Shadow, by Fin Walker, is the most complex work on the programme. Walker's style is a fierce articulation of physical and emotional demand. When her dancers perform alone they crowd the air with a stabbing urgency; in duets or trios, they invade each other's body space without apology.

The choreography's finely calibrated recklessness is distributed equally among the company. Welly O'Brien is a star performer: at times she is flung by the more mobile dancers; at others she turns, dips, falls on her own momentum with exquisite abandon. And when wheelchair-user David Lock rakes the audience with a dark, furious gaze, it is haunting and intimidating.

Judith Mackrell, The Guardian May 2003