Charlotte Darbyshire

Charlotte Darbyshire, a founder member of Candoco, is now artistic director of this company which leads the conversation around dance and disability. What music holds memories for her?

Dance Gazette | Playlist | Issue 5 - Oct 2022

1 Set and Reset by Laurie Anderson

Candoco’s reimagining of Trisha Brown’s seminal work Set and Reset/Reset has become something of a signature work for Candoco with new iterations being created and performed by the company in 2011, 2016, 2021 and again this year when we performed the work at Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York for the first time, and at Tate Modern in London.

Hearing Laurie Anderson’s playful looped score and seeing the dancers perform this seminal work, always gives me a thrill and reminds me of the contribution Candoco has made to dance history.

Long Time No See (Set and Reset score) by Laurie Anderson

2 Life on Mars by David Bowie

A classic from the genius mind of David Bowie and a track that Arlene Phillips used when she choreographed Candoco’s performance on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018. This was a real moment for Candoco – almost as epic as Bowie’s sound track!?

Over 10 million viewers saw us performing with the Strictly professionals that night, making us the first contemporary dance company ever to perform on the show and the first time that same-sex couples were visible in the choreography. Arlene has always been a great fan and advocate for our work and it felt right that she would support our incredible dancers to be seen and valued on TV and beyond the contemporary dance world. 

3 Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra

This familiar and well-loved song was the closing track for Back to Front with Sideshows, choreographed by Emilyn Claid in the first few years of Candoco’s existence. Every time I hear it, I takes me back to those raucous and radical early years when we toured this work to audiences all over the world. This work captured the bold, sexy and mischievous spirit of the founding members, and particularly the deep and playful friendship between David Toole and Kuldip Singh-Barmi. David sadly passed away in 2020 and I cannot hear this song without picturing the closing image of Kuldip and Dave wheeling off together side by side into the distance with ridiculous hats on. It always makes me smile.

Candoco rehearsing a new work by Seke Chimutengwende. Photo: Camilla Greenwell 

4 Noyalain (Burn) by Lisa Gerrard and Jules Maxwell

I have loved the work of Dead Can Dance since I was a student at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in the early 1990s. The first time I came across this evocative and expansive world music was in the opening scene of Strange Fish by Lloyd Newson. Since then their music has provided many a rich sound score for contemporary dance performance and I have now had the good fortune to get to know the lead singer, Lisa Gerrard. This song is from the recent album Burn, Gerrard’s 2021 collaboration with Jules Maxwell. It is a piece which seems to soar high whilst diving deep at the same time. An amazing cinematic experience.

5 Hurricane by Grace Jones

I’ve had the deep pleasure of seeing Grace Jones in concert numerous times over the years and her music and live performance is still such an inspiration to me. This song is one of my favourites; a wonderful evocation of life, womanhood and the dramatic power of music.

Candoco Dance Company is celebrating its 30th anniversary season. It will perform at Sadler’s Wells, London, from 16–18 November.

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REST OF Issue 5 - Oct 2022

Queen Elizabeth ii and Prince Philip, London June 2017- Trooping the Colour parade Queen Elizabeth, prince philip (Duke of Edinburgh) parade for Queen Birthday (Prince Philip last trooping retired)

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died on 8 September aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. She had been Patron of the RAD since 1953.


Ambassadors assemble

The RAD has been part of dancing life for both Céline Gittens and Steven McRae, from early steps to becoming principal dancers. Now, as the RAD’s new ambassadors, they share experiences.


Happiness. Inc

What makes a happy organisation? As the RAD asks its members how they feel about the Academy, Ella Satin explores what makes for a happy company or workplace.


Home and away

Teaching is a portable skill, one that can carry you across the world. Jane Albert meets RAD teachers who have made new lives in completely new countries.


Safe spaces

Isaac Ouro-Gnao meets ballerinas and young dancers from Ukraine who have fled the Russian invasion and building new lives.

Art of the matter post

Art at any price

Gerard Charles, the RAD’s Artistic Director, argues that arts education is being undervalued.

Big Picture post

Open city

RAD Japan has collaborated with Toshima International City Of Arts & Culture on a vibrant new photo project.

Inside RAD post

Stepping out

Step Into Dance held its first festival for three years at London’s Cadogan Hall.

Advice Bureau post

Freddie Opoku-Addaie

Say no with the same conviction as yes! Freddie Opoku-Addaie of Dance Umbrella shares his best advice.

Why Dance Matters post

Kathryn Morgan

American ballerina Kathryn Morgan on ballet, body shaming and the joy of dance.


Permission to dance

K-pop’s high-concept dances have conquered the world from their native Korea. In Seoul’s dance studios, David D Lee meets both tourists and students determined to break into the industry.


Dance on prescription

Can dance help both patients and healthcare professionals? Rosemary Waugh investigates.

RAD Q&A post

Lizeth Leonhardt Avalos

Lizeth Leonhardt Avalos won the RAD Members’ Photo Competition with a picture of her daughter. The Mexican ballet teacher discusses her journey into teaching, the RAD teachers who influenced her and starting a new life in Canada.