Candoco Dance Company Artistic Co-Directors step down after ten years

Stine Nilsen and Pedro Machado to pursue new projects in Europe

After a decade that has seen Candoco Dance Company work with leading choreographers, tour the world and appear in Paralympic ceremonies in London and Beijing, the Artistic Co-Directors of Candoco will step down in 2017.

Stine Nilsen has been appointed CEO/Artistic Director of the CODA Oslo International Dance Festival in Norway, taking over from its founder, Lise Nordal. Set up in 2001, the festival aims to strengthen the development of Norwegian dance through a high-calibre biennale. Stine will take up the role in September, while Pedro Machado will leave later in the year to pursue freelance projects.

Pedro and Stine became Artistic Co-Directors of Candoco Dance Company in 2007, taking over from founder Celeste Dandeker-Arnold OBE. Both Pedro and Stine had previously danced with the company. Under their leadership, Candoco has commissioned work from leading choreographers Emanuel Gat, Rachid Ouramdane, Wendy Houstoun and Javier de Frutos, restaged Trisha Brown’s seminal Set and Reset to include disabled dancers for the first time, and commissioned two of the UK’s leading disabled choreographers, Marc Brew and Claire Cunningham, for Unlimited – part of the London 2012 Cultural Festival.

Ahead of Stine and Pedro’s departure, the company will host a 25th Anniversary Open Week from 10-19 February with events for dancers, young people and the general public being held in London and Brighton. A highlight of the London programme will be an Evening In Conversation with Candoco’s founder Celeste Dandeker-Arnold and Siobhan Davies, chaired by Luke Pell, looking back to Candoco’s beginnings and the journey of the last 25 years of the company (15 Feb). Events in Brighton include a performance of CounterActs, a double bill of pieces by Alexander Whitley and Hetain Patel at Brighton Dome (17 Feb), and an Open Workshop (18 Feb).

The post of Artistic Director will be advertised in March 2017 with a view to announcing the new appointment in summer 2017.

Speaking about their time at Candoco, Pedro and Stine said, “We have had the privilege of leading Candoco through the last 10 years of continued growth and success, a period full of dance and ideas. Taking over from founder Celeste Dandeker-Arnold was a welcome responsibility and we are proud that during our leadership so many artists could engage with the company, furthering their own creative practice and contributing to the bold and high quality work that Candoco has continued to produce. 

We are extremely grateful for the contributions of all the amazing people we have worked with over the years, without whom the success of the company would not have been possible and for the warm welcome we’ve received everywhere the company performed.

The company is in a great position, with an eclectic and successful repertory plus surprising commissions and projects in the pipeline; a talented cast and cohort of associated artists; a solid board and efficient and passionate office staff and much support from audience and partners. It’s been an amazing decade for us and we look forward to following what the Company will do next.”

Kimberley Harvey, board member and former performer with Candoco and Cando2, said “Stine and Pedro’s love for Candoco, alongside their motivation to challenge perceptions about who can dance, has been shown through the company’s high quality performance work and the recognition it has deservedly received. Under their directorship, Candoco have gone further in asking questions of the dance sector in terms of training, access, visibility and opportunity. The dialogue that continues to emerge is essential and forms another aspect of their legacy with the company. Stine and Pedro have done an incredible job in their role as Artistic Co-Directors.”


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  1. Jean-Laurent Dreyer-Dufer

    please to see news of this company after discovering it through Celeste in the early eighty . And so please to see it s carry on prospering !! All my best wishes of many many creations and wonderfull shows . Love . J-L