In 2019 Candoco Dance Company, in collaboration with Lost Dog and with the support of the British Council, presented The Argonauts, the culmination of our four-year programme. With The Argonauts, the Unlimited programme showcased how ten professional and non-professional, disabled and non-disabled performers from different countries can work together. The result was a professional performance produced in just over 20 days during three residencies held in Kyiv between June and September 2019. 

The Argonauts was the creation of Lost Dog’s Artistic Director Ben Duke, working in collaboration with artists Welly O’Brien and Jemima Hoadley and producer Ellie Douglas-Allan of Candoco Dance Company. The 20-minute performance “looks at how we build our sense of individual and collective identity through the telling and re-telling of stories. It is a piece about the mythical and the mundane and how they are much closer than we think” (Ben Duke, Artistic Director, Lost Dog).

Go behind the scenes and take a look at videos with our choreographer Ben Duke and trainer Welly O’Brien. Some exciting photos from residencies in Kyiv – work-in-process – are available on our Flikr account.

The Argonauts premiered on 25 September in Tbilisi, Georgia during the UK/Georgia 2019: New Horizons, with promoting disability arts being one of the key highlights. The Unlimited programme was set to run alongside two 30-minute works performed by Candoco Dance Company at the Tbilisi International Festival of Theatres.

Performance details

The Argonauts is a fragmented re-telling of the story of Jason and Medea. Told through words, music and movement. The piece looks at how we build our sense of individual and collective identity through the telling and re-telling of stories. Like the Argonauts repairing their famous boat with pieces of new timber we have replaced parts of this famous story with stories of our own – but the Argo is still the same boat. The mythical and the mundane sometimes look very different but are made up of the same strange fabric that is our emotional lives.  

Conceived and Directed by: Ben Duke in collaboration with Jemima Hoadley, Welly O’Brien and The Argonauts Company

Produced by: Candoco Dance Company and Lost Dog

Lighting Design: Jackie Shemesh

Costume Design: Anna Ipatieva

Running Time: 20-25 minutes

The Argonauts Company – performers from Ukraine and the South Caucasus

Commissioned by: British Council

Suitability: All ages