Sussex-born choreographer Richard Alston heads to Brighton Dome to present a triple bill of classic and new repertoire
Perhaps more than any other choreographer, Sussex-born Richard Alston is known for his instinctive musicality. As he heads to Brighton Dome to present a triple bill of classic and new repertoire, this show is no exception, each piece infused with the spirit of the music that inspired it. Internationally recognised as one of the most inspiring and influential choreographers in British dance, Alston is renowned for having a very close relationship with his music, taking inspiration for his work directly from the score he uses, as a point of departure for the choreography.
Richard Alston Dance Company is one of the most celebrated contemporary dance companies in the UK, renowned for their superb technical performances. Alston himself is approaching his 45th year of dance-making, a talent that has matured over the years, creating an internationally recognised master of his craft.
Using the music as direct inspiration means there is a sublime musicality running throughout Alston’s work whether the piece uses Ravel’s solo piano music (Shimmer) or the minimalist rhythmic Keyboard Study by Terry Riley (Overdrive).
The three pieces are all presented with the simple staging and costumes for which Alston has become known, letting the choreography and music take centre stage with no distractions.
“Using the music as direct inspiration means there is a sublime musicality”
The first of the pieces offers a rare chance to see Alston’s iconic Roughcut. Danced to the peals of Steve Reich’s shimmering and beautiful New York and Electric Counterpoints for clarinet and guitar this is a euphoric display of pure energy. First seen in 1990, Roughcut has only rarely been revived, and is known as one of the defining classics of British dance – and one of its most enjoyable.
The second piece is a performance of Martin Lawrance’s Lie Of The Land where the sharp sweetness of Ned Rorem’s writing for string quartet has taken Martin Lawrance into new territory. Lyrical yet urgent dancing charts the Lie Of The Land in ever restless mood changes performed to the edgy, driving String Quartet No. 4.
The evening concludes with Alston’s brand new Unfinished Business danced to the beautiful, lucid and flowing music of Mozart – the two movements of an unfinished piano sonata, ‘Opus K533’.
To these, Alston has added an extraordinary arrangement of Mozart’s brilliant ‘Gigue in D’ by the Italian virtuoso Federico Busoni, creating a third movement and bringing things to a rousing close.
Richard Alston Dance Company, Concert Hall, Brighton Dome, Tue 8 to Wed 9 November, 7.30pm (doors 6pm). ticket prices: £7.50-£15, 01273 260838 www.brightondome.org