I started dancing back in 2000 as an original member of Candoco Dance Company’s youth company, Cando2. I loved going to the ballet and the theatre when I was younger, but Cando 2 was the first dance opportunity we’d found that I could actually take part in as a child with a physical disability.
Suffice to say, I was hooked from that very first weeklong workshop with Cando2 and I knew after only a few days there that I wanted to be a contemporary dancer when I grew up. I am very proud to say that I was a dancer in Cando2 until 2012.
Alongside dancing in their youth company, it was also through Candoco Dance Company that I was able to further my dance training; first of all, on their year long ‘Foundation Course in Dance for Disabled Students’ and then on their Moving Bodies programme (for emerging artists). The Moving Bodies programme came along at just the right time as I realised that formal dance training wasn’t right for me, so instead I decided that I would create my own bespoke experience and develop my portfolio that way. Over the 3 years of ‘Moving Bodies’ Candoco supported me; and provided me with additional training and opportunities to help me become the dance artist I wanted to be. I owe them an incredible amount.
Now, I am a Candoco Artist, freelance dancer and teacher and I have a dance company, Subtle Kraft Co. Subtle Kraft Co was co-founded by Anna Bergström and I. It came about because Anna and I were close friends, we enjoyed dancing together and we wanted to develop something between us to make sure it could continue in some way.
Subtle Kraft Co is an integrated contemporary dance company where we aim to create work that excites us and that appeals to our sense of curiosity. For us, movement is an expression of enjoyment, communication and humanity. Subtle Kraft Co. create and present work where relationships and their complexities are explored from many perspectives. It is important to us that our approaches to making work and the pieces we perform enable us to form a relationship with our audience. As a result, we strive for the work to create a response in the audience members, whatever that may be!
Currently, my role within Subtle Kraft Co. is as a dancer and choreographer. At the moment, we are rehearsing our current work, ‘Moments: Revisited’ as we will be performing in at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London next Sunday (26 April), which we are all very excited about. I have choreographed this trio in collaboration with the other dancers, Kitty Fedorec and Robert Hesp. The piece looks at how particular moments in time manifest themselves in each of our bodies; how these moments can be shared and how it can lead to interactions and relationships between us.
Then, later on in the year Subtle Kraft Co will be making and presenting work as part of Sensored at Contact Theatre in Manchester, which will be a duet between myself and Robert.
I love the diversity of my job and I realise that I am very fortunate to be able to move between the realms of dancing, choreographing and teaching. I aim to work inclusively no matter what I am doing. For me, the joy of my work comes from the people I work with – I am constantly reminded of what can be learnt and achieved by sharing, listening and working together.
Sadly, it feels that the element of ‘competition’ is creeping more and more into the (inclusive) contemporary dance world and this something I struggle with. I don’t want to compete with anyone. I will work hard and I am dedicated, but you cannot compete for someone’s favour.
The best tip I can give to anyone is “do what makes you happy, work hard and be strong – if you love what you do it will all be worth it in the end”.
Who knows what the future holds, but I hope that Subtle Kraft Co. will continue to grow and develop. It would be wonderful if the company could exist internationally as Anna is now back in Sweden, so one day soon I hope that we can have a presence both here in the UK and over there too!