The eclectic and wonderful Candoco is holding auditions over the next few weeks to find fifteen people to take part in Jerome Bel’s piece ‘The show must go on.’ There’s no upper age limit, so I applied and was invited to audition in Birmingham last Friday, along with nineteen other men and women, both dancers and not, from seventeen to sixty-eight years old. It was a great experience that went a long way to fulfil my need to work with other dancers and performers, even in the unlikely event I’m accepted to take part.
Entering the studio we were greeted so warmly by all the company members that it was easy to relax into chatting with other people, and from the start there was an atmosphere of openness, laughter and fun, and no sense that we were competing with each other. The audition was led by three of the company dancers, and the tasks became increasingly challenging, and exposing – playing, moving, singing, miming – culminating in one-minute solos with no time for preparation. It could have been intimidating and embarrassing, but instead, it was led so skilfully that everyone rose to the occasion and shone. There were funny, eccentric, touching, and theatrical moments. I don’t envy the company the task of choosing who to shortlist.
Jerome Bel isn’t your run-of-the-mill choreographer. He’s challenging, provocative, mischievous, searching – many things. 'The show must go on,’ is not dance – or is it? Reading about the audience response to the first performances I'm reminded of the first night of Rite of Spring in Paris 1913. But I’ve only seen snatches of it on youtube. Whatever it is, I really look forward to seeing what Candoco, and those who are accepted, make of it in their tour next spring.
Tricia Durdey dances, writes, and teaches Pilates.