Where did it start?
It all began with Candoco. Following their ground-breaking Yerevan performance in 2013, the company brought four Armenian choreographers to the UK for internships in inclusive dance training. These resulted in a series of inclusive dance training sessions in Armenia in the spring of 2014, after which 19 participants were selected in open competition for further training. That training was led by the Artistic Co-Director at Candoco, Pedro Machado, and by Candoco artist Victoria Malin. The group formed into the first Armenian inclusive dance company, which now works regularly in Yerevan’s Small Theatre.
Further training led by Victoria Malin in October 2014 culminated in the troupe’s first dance performance Don’t Leave Meat the International Performing Arts Festival, for which the company received the Armenian National Theatre Artavazd Award. In June 2015, Candoco Artistic Co-Director Stine Nilsen and artist Jemima Hoadley visited Armenia to work on a new inclusive performance, with Hiraeth(Homesick) premiering in September 2015 and then played at the Tramway’s Unlimited Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. You can watch the performance here.
Since their inaugural performance, the company has developed a repertoire of six inclusive performances staged over a hundred times in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Scotland, reaching a total audience of more than 15,000 people. As evidence of the need for and the sustainability of the programme, Unlimited: Making the Right Moves training programmes has now held more than 30 training sessions for over 550 individuals, and seven performance venues in Armenia have been re-fitted to be more accessible.