Richard Alston Dance Company


This article is from 2008.

Richard Alston Dance Company

Music has always played a huge part in Richard Alston’s work, but these days he’s having fun with lyrics, too. Last year’s Shuffle It Right introduced dance audiences to the witty words of late American jazz singer, Hoagy Carmichael.

‘Hoagy was an amazing singer who used rhythm in a very light way,’ says Alston. ‘It’s like listening to Fred Astaire dance. The lyrics are sometimes nonsensical and very dry, but they’re really about the rhythm and I tried to capture that detail in the choreography.’ A bona fide crowd-pleaser, Shuffle It Right is back in Scotland for a second outing, along with Martin Lawrance’s deeply atmospheric Body & Soul, set to an emotive song cycle by Schumann.

Closing the triple-bill will be Alston’s brand new disco-tinged work, Blow Over. For a choreographer best known for using classical or jazz works, the piece marks something of a departure for Alston. Set to Philip Glass’ Songs From Liquid Days, featuring lyrics by Paul Simon and Suzanne Vega, Alston describes the music as ‘Studio 54 eat your heart out’.

When you’ve been choreographing dance for over 30 years like Alston, finding a new approach can’t be easy. But time and again, Alston comes up with the goods – how does he manage it? ‘Well, there’s no point in just doing the same thing,’ he says. ‘Blow Over is a very different piece for me, but I wouldn’t do it for the sake of it. And if people say I’ve done something fresh then I’m absolutely delighted.’

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 11 Nov

This article is from 2008.

Richard Alston Dance Company

A mixed programme of works by Alston and his Associate Choreographer, Martin Lawrance. The modern tango of Tangent is set to music by Astor Piazzolla, whilst the dramatic Stronghold has a score by Julia Wolfe. Mazur is danced to live Chopin mazurkas and An Italian In Madrid is inspired by the sonatas of Scarlatti.

Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Fri 22 Sep

£20.50–£23.50 / 0131 529 6000

New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Tue 3 Oct

£16.90–£24.90 / 0844 871 7645

Sadler's Wells, London EC1R

Fri 16 Jun

£15–£47.50 / 0844 412 4300

Sat 17 Jun

£15–£47.50 / 0844 412 4300

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