Dance, Disability, and Inclusivity

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi and Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels present world renowned CanDoCo Dance Company, leaders of inclusive dance.

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi will host CanDoCo Dance Company, the preeminent professional company in the UK dedicated to the inclusive integration of people of determination.

The UAE premiere of Set and Reset/Reset and Last Shelter is the first in a series of the season’s dance performances, presented with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels, and will feature two works choreographed respectively by Trisha Brown and Jeanine Durning on September 17 at 7:30pm.

The double bill from the two boundary-breaking choreographers will showcase work at the forefront of conversations around dance, disability, diversity, and inclusivity.

The evening will begin with Set and Reset/Reset, a 2021 restaging by Abigail Yager of Trisha Brown’s landmark choreography, which was titled Set and Reset (1983). Dancers move to Laurie Anderson’s driving score drawing from Brown’s original set of instructions where the piece evolves in response to the dancers.

Recreated in 2011, 2016, and 2021, Set and Reset/Reset is an homage and iteration of Brown’s choreographic brilliance, in conversation with the impulses and instincts of dancers we see today.

“CanDoCo’s work expands the vocabulary of contemporary dance for performers with different ways of moving, including the integration of people of determination. Introducing UAE audiences to CanDoCo and their work builds on conversations around dance and disability which began in The Arts Center’s first season with Aakash Odedra Company,” Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center at NYUAD Bill Bragin said.

In Jeanine Durning’s Last Shelter,  the choreography will explore the enduring human desire to build something together. Working with precise materials within variable scores, the piece unfolds uniquely for each performance – somewhere between individual agency and collective will.

The dancers surrender to and grapple with time, place, and fate, finding temporary balance in provisional structures and makeshift meanings. Durning’s choreography highlights the precision of each dancer’s decision-making where audiences will witness the labor and desire of the dancer attending to themselves and one another, in their practice. Both pieces will be performed by Ben Ash, Megan Armishaw, Ihsaan de Banya, Joel Brown, Olivia Edginton, Anna Seymour, and Markéta Stránská.

“The Arts Center has aimed to build an audience for contemporary dance in the UAE, giving exposure to world class companies, providing training for local artists, and opening the doors for larger conversations through the artform of dance,” Bragin said.

The new partnership with Dance Reflection by Van Cleef & Arpels highlights the role The Arts Center has played in growing the dance ecosystem in the country, through presentation, commissioning, transmission, and education. Van Cleef & Arpels have a century-long history of supporting the art form, and being inspired by it.

"It is through such prestigious partnerships that we are able to contribute to the development of choreographic art on an international scale and to share the culture of the Maison Van Cleef & Arpels with as many people as possible,” said Van Cleef & Arpels' Director of Dance and Culture Program Serge Laurent commented:

CanDoCo Dance Company will also participate in a broad array of workshops, artist talks, university class visits and other activities, furthering The Arts Center’s and Van Cleef & Arpels’ mutual goals of promoting the dance ecosystem in the UAE as well as providing a platform to educate and provide diverse perspectives.

To keep informed of additional programs, please visit The Arts Center website

For more information about Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels please visit here.