Friday 20 September 2019

Candoco Dance Company, in collaboration with Lost Dog Dance and with the support of the British Council, presents The Argonauts, the culmination of the British Council's four-year programme Unlimited: Making the Right Moves. Through workshops, educational forums and live performances the programme advocates for the inclusion of disabled artists in the professional arts scene in the South Caucasus and Ukraine.

The Argonauts will perform at the Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theatre on 28 September 2019, 18.30. The inclusive show is part of this year’s Nasimi Festival celebrating poetry, arts and spirituality. The production will be accompanied by two 30-minute works performed by Candoco Dance Company, Face In, and You and I Know. The Argonauts performance in Baku has been made possible through the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the British Embassy in Baku.

The performance will be attended by Her Majesty’s newly appointed Ambassador Mr James Sharp.

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Media representatives are kindly invited to attend this event. Please contact us to collect your invitation and join us at 18.00 for a short media briefing. Mr. Summer Xia, Country Director of the British Council in Azerbaijan, says: “We are delighted to welcome The Argonauts and Candoco Dance Company to Baku for a final performance of our arts and disability programme - the Unlimited. Over the last four years, we have supported more than 100 disabled artists and cultural leaders to mainstream their work, promoted inclusivity across the arts practice using the cultural resources of the UK, worked with the leading arts and cultural venues in Azerbaijan to help make them more accessible, and helped to change the public mindset about disability and creating a more inclusive society.”   

The Argonauts will showcase how ten professional and non-professional, disabled and non-disabled performers from different countries can work together. The result: a professional performance produced in just over 20 days during three residencies in Kyiv held between June and September 2019.

The Argonauts is the creation of Lost Dog’s Artistic Director Ben Duke, working in collaboration with artists Welly O’Brien and Jemima Hoadley and producer Ellie Douglas-Allan of Candoco Dance Company. The 20-minute performance “looks at how we build our sense of individual and collective identity through the telling and re-telling of stories. It is a piece about the mythical and the mundane and how they are much closer than we think.” (Ben Duke, Artistic Director, Lost Dog).

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The British Council in Azerbaijan would like to thank all its key partners, including the Nasimi Festival, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the British Embassy in Baku. Our special thanks go to Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theatre, the Azerbaijan National Paralympic Committee, Buta Palace, and the Aquatic Palace for their support.

Notes to Editor

Our work is based on building meaningful, enduring and respectful relationships across different cultures. We cannot do this without a strong commitment to equality, inclusion and diversity (EDI).

The Argonauts is a fragmented re-telling of the story of Jason and Medea. Told through words, music and movement. The piece looks at how we build our sense of individual and collective identity through the telling and re-telling of stories. Like the Argonauts repairing their famous boat with pieces of new timber we have replaced parts of this famous story with stories of our own - but the Argo is still the same boat. The mythical and the mundane sometimes look very different but are made up of the same strange fabric that is our emotional lives.

Yasmeen Godder’s Face In is a sensual and disturbing ode to intimacy and imagination, expressed through striking images and daring uninhibited dance. Set to an urban indie score, Candoco invites you to bask in this wild fictional world that feels uncomfortably familiar yet strangely distorted.

Created by trailblazing choreographer to the stars Arlene Phillips, You and I Know is a romantic duet told through a series of vignettes set across time. Danced with passion and sensitivity to a collection of pop songs, the piece offer audiences a potent and emotive exploration of how we fall in and out of love over and over again, often with the same person.

For further information, please contact Dilara Ibrahimova, Arts Manager, at:

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

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