His Richard Alston Dance Company, has been going for a quarter of a century, and there was shock and sadness at the announcement in the middle of 2018 that they were to disband at the end of the current year.
Meanwhile, and with his legion of fans hoping and praying for a change of mind, Richard Alston Dance Company is embarking on a nationwide tour which will bring it to Sadler’s Wells at the beginning of March.
Richard Alston Dance Company Quartermark, a reference to the company’s age, is a triple bill with two new works and Alston’s own Proverb, to an eponymous vocal score by the American minimalist composer Steve Reich.
Alston made Proverb for Reich’s 70th birthday in 2006 and has now revived it to mark his own landmark birthday. Reich’s music is influenced by the harmonies and dissonances of medieval singing, and that in turn put Richard Alston in mind of the artisans of the Middle Ages and, in his own words, ‘their courageous and committed teamwork carried out in blind faith.’
That, says Alston, is the imagery that pervades his choreography for Proverb.
The two new works in Quartermark come from Alston himself and his long-time associate and Rehearsal Director Martin Lawrance.
Alston’s Brahms Hungarian, accompanied live by the pianist Jason Ridgway, uses Brahms Romantic music as a setting for his trademark fast and fluid choreography, permeated by a sense of joyful abandonment.
Martin Lawrance’s work clearly belongs in the Alston stable and yet it has its very own clear identity; it’s darker, more earthbound. His new piece is set to the American composer Michael Gordon’s Timber.
Described as ‘tuneful, rhythmic and raw,’ Gordon’s music has inspired a wide range of contemporary choreographers, including Wayne McGregor, Pina Bausch and Ashley Page, to mention but a few – and now, too, Martin Lawrance.
Quartermark looks like a varied and enjoyable programme; and as one of the very last opportunities to see Richard Alston Dance Company before its dissolution it should not be missed.
|What||Richard Alston Dance Company, Quartermark, Sadler's Wells Preview|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
01 Mar 19 – 02 Mar 19, 19:30 Dur.: TBC two intervals
|Price||£15-£48 (+£3 booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book via Sadler's Wells website|