Muster

  • Muster at The Place, photography by Simon Cooper 2016
    Muster at The Place, photography by Simon Cooper 2016
  • Muster by Simon Cooper 2016
    Muster at The Place, photography by Simon Cooper 2016
  • Muster at The Place, photography by Simon Cooper 2016
    Muster at The Place, photography by Simon Cooper 2016
  • Muster at The Place, photography by Simon Cooper 2016
    Muster at The Place, photography by Simon Cooper 2016
  • Muster Intro Day
    Taking weight at the Muster introductory day. Photography by Jo Duncan 2016
  • Muster Intro Day
    Muster introductory day. Photography by Jo Duncan 2016
  • Muster Intro Day
    Taking weight at the Muster introductory day. Photography by Jo Duncan 2016
  • Muster Intro Day
    Up in the air at the Muster introductory day. Photography by Jo Duncan 2016

Muster: A bold exercise in dance creation

Candoco Dance Company believes in the power of diversity in dance to bring people together and drive new creative possibilities.

An exciting project saw Candoco’s youth company, Cando2, students from Caldicott School and ex-servicemen and women from the cast of the award winning West End show, The Two Worlds of Charlie F by Owen Sheers and Combat Veteran Players, come together to form a unique partnership.

Diverse in age, gender, disability and dance experience, the collaboration sought to empower, celebrate and unite a broad range of individuals with a shared passion for dance and dance making.

Bringing their expert approach to inclusive dance practice, Candoco Artists, Kimberley Harvey and Charlotte Darbyshire, led a week of intensive making, exploring the creativity, physicality and identity of each dancer through a range of choreographic tasks.

Culminating in a new dance work, Muster challenged audiences to question their own preconceptions whilst performers built confidence and a sense of belonging within a professional artistic environment.

Watch the making of Muster filmed and produced by Caldicott School here

Muster was produced by Candoco Dance Company, Caldicott School’s Head of Drama Johanna Duncan and Theatre Producer Amanda Faber.

Performers

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Cassidy Little

Cassidy Little
Cassidy Little

After losing his leg in Afghanistan in 2011, Cassidy has returned to his first love of performing.

He attended drama school in Missouri and went on to join an American dance troupe before coming to live in the UK and joining the 42 Commando Royal Marines. It was on his second tour to Afghanistan as part of 42 Commando that Cassidy lost his right leg in an IED blast. He was in an induced coma for a week and hospitalised for two months.

Three months out of hospital Cassidy met Director Stephen Rayne and writer Owen Sheers, and as part of Bravo 22 Company, was offered the lead role of Charlie in The Two World’s of Charlie F, working with Sir Trevor Nunn and Ray Winstone on the highly successful run and London dates at The Theatre Royal Haymarket. The company brings some awareness to the audience of the soldiers and marines experiences after injury, using a cast of injured military personnel on stage with actors. Having worked in both the military and stage, Cassidy was the obvious and only choice for Charlie. Last year it did another UK tour preceded by a run in his home country Canada.

In 2015 Cassidy was selected from over 11,000 nominations and chosen to take part in the first ever BBC’s Peoples Strictly in aid of Comic Relief with dance partner Natalie Lowe. Cassidy was nominated for his bravery after the blast as he continued to help other injured personnel and has been a huge support to others in rehab despite his own injuries. Life has now taken him full circle and back to the dancing he loved; something he thought he would never be able to do again. He was wrong as he and Natalie with their Paso Doble won The Peoples Strictly for Comic Relief and got to take home the famous glitter ball.

Cassidy has also been an Olympic Torch Bearer, the face of the British Legion Poppy Appeal, and is a popular after dinner speaker. Cassidy has twice appeared in BBC’s Doctors, for one night only in Jay Marwick’s Flamenco Fusion Show Explosion at The Lyric Theatre in London’s West End, Twelfth Night at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre at the Globe, and is taking part in a workshop of a new play at the Young Vic with Director Ian Rickson.

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Nicola De Maine

Nicola de Maine
Nicola de Maine

Nicola was born in Kenilworth, Warwickshire and began dancing at three years old. She trained in ballet, modern, flamenco and contemporary dance and at thirteen became a member of Warwickshire Youth Dance in association with Motionhouse. After joining the Royal Navy, her artistic interests were put on hold whilst she commissioned as an Officer and qualified as an Air Traffic Controller. However, she found time to learn the Salsa and the Argentine Tango which helped satisfy her need to dance. During her time in the navy she also undertook a psychology degree through the Open University.

Since being medically discharged from the Royal Navy in 2011, Nicola has rediscovered her love of all things creative. She is a member of the Shakespearean theatre company the Combat Veteran Players and also leads Shakespeare workshops within schools as a member of the company Shakespeare’s Soldiers. Having recently completed a Masters in Professional Writing, she is currently working on her first novel. She feels privileged to be part of this collaborative dance project and is excited about once again exploring narrative through movement.

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Andy McCabe

Andy McCabe
Andy McCabe

Andy McCabe (Seaman Royal Navy) has been in all of the Combat Veteran Players productions since joining in 2011. He has received multiple workshops from both the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe. In their first production of Midsummer Night’s Dream (2012) he played Demetrius. Their next production Henry V (2013) saw him in a variety of roles, including Bishop of Ely, Henry V, Gower, Uncle Exeter, Duke of Orleans, and Katherine. In Hamlet (2014) at the Globe Theatre he doubled as Horatio and Polonius and performed as Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night (2015) at the Leicester Square Theatre. He currently runs educational workshops in schools as part of Shakespeare’s Soldiers and also works in schools helping children to read as part of the Soldiers’ reading programme. His short play Mothership was performed last year at the Finborough. He is looking forward to his current role in Muster before starting rehearsals on Richard III playing Duke Of Buckingham in the Combat Veteran Players’ fifth production.

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Lily Phillips

Lily Phillips
Lily Phillips

Lily has been working as a performer, choreographer and teacher since graduating from Margaret Howard Theatre College in 2009.  She has travelled the world dancing, singing and acting and now writes and performs in the award winning comedy cabaret show The Ruby Darlings. She has taught dance and drama to children from ages 3-18yrs. And has delivered many school workshops on movement through storytelling, world dance and GCSE drama workshops on the unique play The Two Worlds of Charlie F by Owen Sheers which tells the stories of injured service men and women (which she also performed in and choreographed for the No.1 Tour). She has also created and presented movement workshops at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Richard House Hospice for the children and their families.

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Ashleigh ‘Big Ash’ Young

Ashliegh Young
Ashliegh Young

Lance Corporal (Retd.) Ashleigh Young served in the Royal Logistic Corps and was formerly in the Royal Anglian Regiment. He served in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Germany.  He suffered leg damage in 2006, whilst training at Pirbright and is currently rehabilitating in Peterborough. He was a founder member in the Company which created the award winning play The Two Worlds of Charlie F by Owen Sheers. He performed in every performance of the two tours with 125 performances internationally. During the creation of the play Ash worked closely with the choreographer Lily Philips to develop the wheelchair dance. Outside of his acting and dance career Ash has spent time in the Battle Back Centre Project training in Adaptive Sports at Lilleshall and has also completed a work placement at Barclays Bank. He is currently employed by the NHS. He also continues to work closely with the Charlie F Company members running educational workshops in schools nationwide as a founder member of The Charlie F Project. These workshops focus on The Two World of Charlie F but also help students to understand other set texts including Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo. He is also a member of the Combat Veteran Players and will be part of the cast delivering William Shakespeare’s Richard III later this year. He is looking forward to new challenges in his role in Muster.

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Finn Catherwood Smith

Finn Catherwood Smith, Caldicott School
Finn Catherwood Smith, Caldicott School

Finn played Odysseus in a school production of the Trojan War and recently learned to sing and dance as a ‘crapshooter’ in our senior production of the famous musical Guys and Dolls. He has also won a school declamations competition and recently received a distinction in his Grade 2 Acting exam with LAMDA, he is currently preparing to sit his next exam. Finn is passionate about science and plays cricket at county level. He is also a competent guitar player, having sat his Grade 2 exam and plays regularly in school concerts. Finn has become an animal lover because of a recent safari trip he went on and has a puppy.

Age: 12

Where are you from: Ireland/England

What’s your favourite subject at school and why? My favourite subject is Science because I enjoy finding out about how the world works.

What dance/performance experience do you have? I was in the play Guys and Dolls and have a distinction in my LAMDA Grade 2 Acting exam. I have performed a LAMDA grade 3 duologue as part of my year group performance last year. I am also part of the guitar group at school and have performed in a few concerts.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in Muster? I am most looking forward to dancing and meeting the soldiers.

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Tom Martineau

Tom Matrineau, Caldicott School
Tom Matrineau, Caldicott School

Last year Tom was staring in Caldicott’s senior production of the hit musical Guys and Dolls, where he was playing one of the ‘Hot Box Girls’ (Adelaide’s friends) to great success. The role required Tom to learn a number of dance routines with a visiting choreographer. Two years ago he was a member of the Greek chorus in a production of The Trojan War, which required him to learn a number of lines. He has really enjoyed drama for the past few years and he is appreciating the opportunity to develop his singing and dancing skills.

Age: 12

Where are you from? West London

What’s your favourite subject at school and why? My favourite subjects are Geography and History

What dance/performance experience do you have? I was a Hot Box Girl in Guys and Dolls. We had a choreographer teach us dances to a number of songs. ‘Bushel and a Peck’ and ‘Take Back Your Mink’ were the main ones that I performed in. I performed in a devised mime piece last year for my year group show. I am also a percussionist and have performed in a few concerts with my school.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in Muster? I am most excited about performing in front of lots of people and doing fun dances.

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Winston Frieze

Winston Frieze, Caldicott School
Winston Frieze, Caldicott School

Winston is 12 years old and would like to be a performer when he is older. He played the role of General Cartwright in a school production of  the hit musical Guys and Dolls last year. This was quite a contrast from tackling Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night where he played the comic role of Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Winston has attended physical theatre class at school and is currently sitting a graded examination in Acting with LAMDA. He is very excited about taking part in this project and learning from all the other performers.

Age: 12

Where are you from: I am half Australian but I live in London

What’s your favourite subject at school and why? My favourite subject is Latin because I find it quite interesting how we can discover a language from 2000 years ago.

What dance/performance experience do you have? I started physical theatre and I have loved it since. I have also been in two senior school plays, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and the musical Guys and Dolls. I am also preparing for my Grade 4 Acting exam with LAMDA.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in Muster? It will give me the chance to learn something new and to meet interesting people.

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George Fearnley-Whittingstall

George Fernley Whittingstall, Caldicott School
George Fernley Whittingstall, Caldicott School

George is 11 years old and has always been interested in acting. He has been taking LAMDA lessons since he was 10, achieving a Grade 3 in Acting and currently working on his Grade 4 this year. He performed as one of the ‘Hot Box Girls’ in his school production of Guys and Dolls last year. He really enjoyed being one of the girls in the production as it was more challenging than being a boy (in some cases), because he had to act with the mannerisms of a woman. George also attended a drama summer school where he worked as part of a group to devise a theatre performance.

Age: 11

Where are you from? London,England

What’s your favourite subject at school and why? My favourite subject is Maths, except for drama rehearsals.

What dance/performance experience do you have? I was a ‘Hot Box Girl’ in my school play Guys and Dolls, which was mainly a dancing part. I have also passed my LAMDA Grade 3 in Acting and I’m currently preparing for my Grade 4.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in Muster? I can’t wait to be performing with other people.

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Cecil Scopes

Cecil Scopes, Caldicott School
Cecil Scopes, Caldicott School

Cecil is 11 years old and lives Chesham. He has performed in two plays out of school at the young theatre in Beaconsfield. The plays were Shadow of a Giant and The Midsummer Night’s Dream, where he played the Flute/ Thisby. He has also played Hecuba in a school production of the Trojan War, as well as taking part in a drama summer school on devising theatre.

Age: 11

Where are you from: Chesham

What’s your favourite subject at school and why? Maths is my favourite subject because it is logical and we don’t have drama lessons at school anymore.

What dance/performance experience do you have?  I have been in two plays out of school, A Midsummer Nights Dream and Shadow of a Giant. Currently I am working towards my Grade 3 Acting exam with LAMDA.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in Muster? I am looking forward to going to London every day.

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Karim Dime

Karim Dime

Age: 20

Where are you from? North London

What’s your favourite subject at school and why? Drama, because I like learning new shows.

What dance/performance experience do you have?  I have been part of Cando2, Candoco’s youth company for four years and the Trinity Laban Centre for Advanced Training for two and a half years. Last year I had the opportunity of joining the main company for a production of The Show Must Go On. It was great fun learning and performing it with a cast of 20 people, and then touring. It won the UK Theatre Award for Achievement in Dance.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in Muster? A new experience in the wonderful world of dance and performing arts!

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Jessica Dowdeswell

Jess Dowdeswell, Cando2
Jess Dowdeswell, Cando2

Jess’ love of dance started when she began secondary school. In 2015 she received the outstanding achievement award for KS3 dance from her school. She is also a keen sports woman and regularly plays Wheelchair Basketball in the under 15s in the national league, and represents West Midlands in regional competitions. She plays Sitting Volleyball and has two caps for Great Britain following an international competition representing the GB Women’s Sitting Volleyball team.

Age: 12

Where are you from? Coventry

What’s your favourite subject at school and why? Drama & dance. Dance because she loves the feeling of loosing herself in dance, and drama because she enjoys playing other people.

What dance/performance experience do you have? Jess has made some YouTube dance videos; she regularly attends the ‘Kool Nerd’ dance group after school, and a dance group with the performing arts service in Coventry.  Jess has danced in her school talent show two years running, and has recently performed in a Church, and in front of her whole school in assembly.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in MusterGetting more dance experience and working with others similar to her.

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Mirabelle Haddon

Mirabelle Haddon, Cando2
Mirabelle Haddon, Cando2

Mirabelle is a young deaf dancer who started dancing at the age of three. She studies ballet and contemporary dance at MacAlpine School of dance, is a member of Candoco’s youth company Cando2 and Candoco’s Youth Advisory Group. She regularly attends courses at the Royal Academy of Dance, The Place, Trinity Laban and the Unicorn Theatre. She is a member of the Kinetica Bloco Youth Carnival Company, and a pupil at Sedgehill School, where she is part of the Gifted and Talented Gravitate Company.

Age: 12

Where are you from? South East London

What’s your favourite subject at school and why? Dance

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in Muster? Meeting new people and expanding my dance experience and knowledge.

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Ella Mattallia

Ella Mattallia, Cando2
Ella Mattallia, Cando2

Age: 23

Where are you from? South East London

What’s your usual occupation/ hobby? I am currently applying for Dance schools and I work part-time, when I’m not dancing, I enjoy drawing and to play the violin. I take pleasure in visiting historic buildings, museums and exhibitions especially the Victoria and Albert and the Tate. I am about to start training as a tour guide for the National Trust .

 What dance/performance experience do you have? I have been involved with contemporary dance from a very young age. I was part of Laban Youth Company for 4 years and a member of Centre for Advanced Training scheme at Trinity Laban for 2 and a half years. I have also recently spent time in Argentina practising some traditional dance including Tango, capoeira and a fusion of contemporary and Argentine folklore.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in Muster? I can’t wait to collaborate and get to know people that have had different life experiences and come from other performance backgrounds.

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Noa Yaron

Noa Yaron, Cando2. Photography by Fiona Yaron-Field
Noa Yaron, Cando2. Photography by Fiona Yaron-Field

Age: 13, nearly 14

Where are you from? North London

What’s your favourite subject at school and why? I enjoy many subjects but I have three favourites. I enjoy history because I’m curious about what happened in the past and how this effects our world today. I also like science because I’m very interested in how things work and why they work. Finally, I like drama because I love performing!

What dance/performance experience do you have? I have been with Cando2 over 2 years and had many wonderful experiences. My highlights include dancing in the Olympic Park (!), working with Yael Flexer, ‘Game Over’ at Queen Elizabeth Hall and Cadogan Hall. Also, going with Cando2 to U.Dance 2015 in Plymouth and the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival in Glasgow in 2014. I have also taken part in many performances with Chickenshed inclusive Theatre Company.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part in Muster? I think I’m most looking forward to meeting new people, with different experiences and backgrounds as I feel that it’s always such a lovely thing to be able to dance alongside people and see new ways of moving as everyone finds their own style. I think it’ll be a very new experience and one I will cherish.