Five Stratocasters on stage playing themselves. Mirjam has come on and turned up the volume knob on the Strat lying on its back: the low hum from the amp beside it sounds throughout the whole piece. But the others have a 12″ record mounted on the front of each, and as it revolves, it brushes a tremolo-drenched chord from the strings. She gyrates very slowly, leaning back to the floor, with incredible control. A tap-dancer sets up a slow rhythm – other dancers join the rhythm, and it builds, one of them crunching out an edgy riff on the guitar…

This is a performance by Candoco, the company that includes so-called ‘disabled’ dancers among its members. But that word really doesn’t apply here: the power, control, grace and beauty of their movements make it meaningless. A solo piece: Vicky comes on, in silence. She’s wearing an extraordinary outfit – as unlike contemporary dance as you can imagine. It’s a burlesque version of Wonderwoman, black and rhinestoned bikini, knee-high boots, headress with huge blonde hair spilling out. She approaches the audience, smiling, almost offering herself, this is me, hello, yes – me. Sort of sexy, but self-mocking, with each move turning to the audience: ‘Well?’ Funny too. Then suddenly there’s dry ice and a pounding house/disco track kicks in and she’s singing, and dancing: ‘This Is It!’

I’m on the huge Dome stage the next day, with two of their dancers and the rest of 3Score Dance. Mirjam takes us through Qi Gung exercises, and then she and Dan get us to walk the space, claiming it, then walk at half the speed, then half again, till we’re barely moving, (trying not to fall over). We’re tightly knotted together, echoing the shapes of each other’s bodies, still slow. Intensely physical and extraordinarily liberating.

This is it!

http://www.candoco.co.uk/
http://www.michaelmunday.com

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