This is, after all, an ensemble that over the past 25 years has brought us dancing of unalloyed musicality, purity and joy, defined by an absolute understanding between the dancers and Richard Alston’s unique brand of choreography.
Deprived of its subsidy, Richard Alston Dance Company will close down at the end of the current financial year; so Final Edition is one last bittersweet opportunity to enjoy its sublime dancing.
Final Edition includes both old and new works. Richard Alston signs two of the London premieres, Shine On and Voices and Light Footsteps, and his associate choreographer Martin Lawrance (formerly one of the company’s most compelling dancers) authors A Far Cry.
Shine On is the tenth work Alston has choreographed to one of his very favourite composers, Benjamin Britten. It is a piece for the full company of 10, danced to Britten’s 1937 song cycle On This Island set to five poems by WH Auden, which are performed live by soprano Katherine McIndoe and pianist Jason Ridgeway.
By contrast, Voices and Light Footsteps, which closes the programme, is set to music by the baroque composer Claudio Monteverdi, which Alston considers as extraordinary now as when it was written.
Lawrance’s last work for the company, A Far Cry, tries to blend a sad goodbye with a celebration of the company's achievements. It is set to Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro Op 47.
The rest of the programme consists of Alston’s 2015 Mazur, an intriguing short duet for two men set to Chopin’s mazurkas; Isthmus, the 2012 work for five dancers which Alston counts among his favourites; and Bari, a playful piece inspired by the South Italian dance Pizzica, which Alston created last year for students of the London Contemporary Dance School, where he himself was a student in the late 60s.
Final Edition is a varied programme which will give us a good measure of Richard Alston Dance Company’s immense contribution to the UK dance panorama, and one last chance to enjoy its presence and mourn its imminent demise.
|What||Richard Alston Dance Company, Final Edition, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
07 Mar 20 – 08 Mar 20, 19:30 Sun mat 14:00 Dur.: 2 hours inc one interval
|Price||£15-£50 (+ booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book|