News

Candoco announces new Chair and first Associate Artistic Director

25 Feb 2021


Stephen Lightbown. Image credit: Candoco Dance Company.

Candoco Dance Company has today announced a new Chair, Trustees and the appointment of its first Associate Artistic Director.

Stephen Lightbown will become Chair in March 2021, taking over from Fern Potter who has been Chair since 2018. Dan Daw, has been appointed as the company’s first Associate Artistic Director. Kez Margrie has also joined the Board as a Trustee.

As Stephen, Dan and Kez all identify as disabled, these appointments mark a significant and important moment for Candoco, embedding disabled representation at leadership level. As the company enters its 30th Anniversary year, it marks an ongoing commitment to increasing representation from disabled artists, producers and leaders across the organisation, in order to ensure that Candoco remains at the forefront of the conversation about dance and disability in the years to come.

Stephen’s background is in senior level Communications and PR roles across the NHS.  He is also a former Trustee of the spinal injuries charity The Back Up Trust and a published poet who writes about his experiences of being a wheelchair user.

Appointed as the company’s first Associate Artistic Director, Dan Daw will work alongside Artistic Director Charlotte Darbyshire and Executive Director Jo Royce, to shape and develop future artistic and organisational strategy and thinking. Dan has previously performed as a Candoco company member and more recently he has been working as a member of the company’s Disability Advisory Group.

Kez Margie is a 2019/20 Clore Fellow and Commissioning Editor for ages 7 -12 in the BBC’s Children’s department.

Of his appointment, Stephen said: “It is a great honour to have been appointed Chair of Candoco, an organisation I have loved, admired and followed from afar for many years. I would like to thank Fern for her years of service and leadership to the Board, particularly over the past twelve months and the unchartered challenges that the organisation has faced. I am delighted to have been given the chance to support Candoco as it enters its 30th anniversary year. I look forward to working with all the staff and dancers at Candoco to make sure we remain a vital voice in the dance community and the arts more widely.

Of his appointment, Dan Daw said:What an exciting time to be re-joining Candoco. It feels important to take time to pay tribute to where the company has been, celebrate where it is now and sow the seeds for where it hopes to be. This is an incredible opportunity to gently lean into how Candoco might further expand thinking around what dance is, who can dance and who dance is for.

Outgoing Chair, Fern Potter said:As a ground-breaking, inclusive dance company, the appointment of Stephen and Kez to the Board, and the announcement of Dan as our first Associate Artistic Director, means that we begin this next chapter of Candoco’s history with lived-experience of disability at the heart of our leadership. Candoco must continue to offer an equitable and accessible space for a new generation of artists, participants, audiences and leaders.

Candoco is a world-leading professional contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers.  For 30 years, Candoco has been creating and performing ground-breaking dance that puts diversity and inclusion at its heart.  Bridging the mainstream and experimental, we have performed at venues and festivals from Sadler’s Wells to the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom. Our extensive learning programme includes high-quality dance activity for young disabled dancers alongside professional development for disabled makers.  We continually expand perceptions of what dance can be and who can do it.