Love. We have all felt it; sweetened by its euphoria and embittered when it truly hurts us. This powerful emotion is carefully dissected by Candoco performers Joel Brown and Laura Patay in an inspiring 15-minute choreography in collaboration with award-winning director and choreographer Arlene Philips.
She describes love and the performance You and I Know as ‘an emotion we can all identify with and in this duet we will be inviting the audience to explore its complexities and how our daily routines can shape our relationships.’
On a pleasant sunny Saturday, Bell Square saw Brown and Patay impress the local community. You see, Candoco specialises in performance art by disabled and non-disabled artists, and You and I Know is great example to showcase the innovative and collaborative prowess of this niche dance company. Brown and Patay provided insight into a performance company that many, including myself, didn’t, even, know exist.
Brown is an atheletic wheelchair user. Patay is bubbly and enthusiastic. Her left arm stops at her elbow, yet, it seems, this never stopped either of them, and many Candoco performers, in pursuing their dream to dance. That in itself is a powerful and inspirational message.
You and I Know begins with Brown talking to the audience casually before breaking into song and guitar-playing, getting the audience warmed up for Insecure Adolescence – a song he wrote himself. The music isn’t as negative as the song’s name may seem, though. It is worth clapping and smiling along to, and with the sun beaming down on Bell Square, it was hard not to.
This is the blissful part of love, where two hearts catch each others’ eyes and fall for one another. Patay runs care-free and throws her body into the air. Brown also keeps the scene lighthearted moving speedily and energetically on his wheelchair. There’s an adorable scene of both performers embracing each other as they sit on top of a table side by side with their legs hanging down. For a moment, you forget about these artists’ disabilities and take note of how intimate and tender the couple seem.
Patay lies on top of Brown’s back as he travels across the white space of the square, and from then on, it is clear to see a happy and peaceful unison, just like the happier times in a relationship. But, suddenly, we hear more waves, as if they are on a beach somewhere, and immediately the dynamics change – the tides has changed.
Out of nowhere, Patay is thumping her fists on the table and Brown is doing the same to his chest. There’s anger and uncertainty in the performance, there’s less eye contact, their movements are hard and aggressive, no longer soft and free-flowing as the earlier parts of the show. Physical contact, whether it is the quick twirls or glides are delivered with stern facial expressions, all part of piece’s intention to discuss the power of this emotion and how easily people can become fickle in a ‘loving’ relationship.
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