AWARD 2019



Candoco Dance Company and ASOS met at the 2018 Paralympics in Seoul where ASOS was an official supporter, responsible for designing and creating the formal and ceremony wear for ParalympicsGB, and Candoco performed as part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations. It quickly became clear that there were synergies at the heart of these two considerably different organisations that offered an exciting opportunity. Candoco and ASOS developed a partnership to bring to life their shared values around promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity. The ASOS x Candoco Dance Company Training Intensive, a two-week residential for 15 disabled and non-disabled dancers aged 18-30, aimed to increase opportunities to train in an inclusive environment. ASOS offered significant financial support to develop this pilot, as well as gifted clothing for participants. The partnership took a dynamic and collaborative approach to communications and social media, with Candoco featuring on the ASOS Instagram Stories feed on numerous occasions.

Candoco is a world-leading professional dance company. Bridging the mainstream and the experimental, our bold approach and powerful collaborations create distinctive performances and far-reaching learning experiences. We celebrate different ways of seeing, of being and of making art, putting us at the forefront of conversation around dance and disability. The company, founded in 1991 by Celeste Dandeker-Arnold CBE and Adam Benjamin, collaborates with some of the industry’s most renowned choreographers and artists to create performance work that is presented at prestigious venues and festivals in the UK and internationally.  Alongside touring, last year Candoco created a sensation when it became the first contemporary dance company to appear on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, performing to over 10 million people. More recently, the company ran a 2-week residential dance training intensive for young disabled and non-disabled dancers supported by fashion retailer ASOS.  In December 2019, the company will open The Lost Thing, a musical reimagining of the children’s book by Shaun Tan, at the Linbury Theatre in a major co-production with the Royal Opera.


Jo Royce, Executive Director, Candoco Dance Company:

“We are thrilled that our partnership with ASOS has been shortlisted for the Achates Prize and to celebrate our work together. ASOS share our values around inclusion and enabled us to realise our ambition to deliver the ASOS x Candoco Dance Company Training Intensive; providing essential an opportunity for young disabled and non-disabled dancers to begin their individual pathways in to dance training.”

Emma Bartholomeou, Senior Corporate Responsibility Manager, ASOS:

“We believe that every young person, no matter their background, should be given the chance to reach their full potential. We couldn’t be more proud to be supporting Candoco and are delighted its inclusive approach to creative expression has been shortlisted.”