From 2007-2012 Luke was Head of Learning and Research for Candoco Dance Company. Focusing on art making as a means of generating knowledge, Luke led and delivered offstage, curatorial and artist development projects. Imagining new contexts for performance, participation and discourse, to effect change in practice and engagement with alterity, disability and othered bodies. One of the key programmes developed with the support of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation was the In Dialogue series aiming to advance the level and clarity of artistic and critical dialogue of work with or by disabled artists. The project sought to reach new audiences in a range of contexts through a series of live events, online documentation and bespoke projects.
Luke curated the 2014/15 series with three key projects that responded to the sector; On Being an Artist, What Words Can Do,and a two day symposium – An Evolving Art Form, each contributing to the conversation from a variety of angles culminating with an online publication (conceived and created by Luke Pell and Brian Hartley) which draws together written reflections, poetry, film and imagery arising over that year. Contributors include Marc Brew, Claire Cunningham, Caroline Bowditch, Rosemary Lee and many more.
“It is a workbook for thinking and doing. Full of words and images, questions, thoughts and provocations, with space to read, write or speak yourself in.”
Luke Pell (p. 15)
From 5 minutes with Caroline Bowditch ‘On Being An Artist’ to half an hour with Dr. R. Justin Hunt exploring the concept of ‘Wording Choreography’ the publication was designed to dip in and out of, to help you navigate the workbook with ease use the tool bar at the bottom of the issuu page to find your way around.
Luke continues to work as a Guest Curator and Candoco Associate. In 2017 as part of Candoco’s 25th anniversary celebration’s he hosted a conversation between Candoco co-founder Celeste Dandeker-Arnold and choreographer Siobhan Davies - Back When We Began - exploring their life long professional relationship and friendship.
Other key projects Luke has developed for Candoco are:
A Living Archive - Concept and form. An installation exposing audiences to new ways of seeing non/disabled dancing bodies, explored the concept of superhuman to challenge notions of beauty and normality. Commissioned for Superhuman, Wellcome Collection
Unlimited Respondent - Participatory dialogues and writings with artists and audiences on the artistic and social impact of Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre
Turning 20 (offstage) - Lead Artist, International Artists Labs UK and Sweden. Curator and concept inaugural In Dialogue series, Birthday Cabaret, The Ball GCSE Resource
Moving Bodies - Lead Artist and concept, mentoring and making inclusive dance with young people, emerging artists and professionals. A four-year UK wide project funded by PHF
Disability and SEN - Module Writer & Lead Artist, Masters in Teaching (Dance) RAD
Of Building Houses and The Dandelion - Lead Artist, site-specific performance created with fifty young Deaf people for Tanz Heilbronn
Something That You’ll Never Really See - Lead Artist, site-specific performance created with a diverse intergenerational cast of one hundred participants for artsdepot
Spaces Between, Familiar Yet Uncharted - Assistant to Athina Vahla for site-specific professional and participatory performance for the re-opening of Southbank Centre