Richard Alston Dance Company
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 13 Nov
Music – some choreographers can’t start work without it, while for others it’s the final piece in the jigsaw. But for Martin Lawrance, dancer and choreographer with Richard Alston Dance Company, it came somewhere in between.
‘Usually I start with a piece of music as inspiration,’ he explains. ‘But with Brink, the main focus was the relationship between the dancers. And originally I wanted to make a small, intense piece for just two dancers.’ Starting life as a duet, Brink was choreographed to various pieces of music, none of which were destined to make it past the rehearsal room. But the dance suddenly took on a radical new shape, when Lawrance happened upon an unusual piece of music in the little known style of Japanese tango.
‘The duet already carried a real sense of tension and passion,’ says Lawrance. ‘And when I found the Eurasian Tango by Japanese composer Ayuo, it just worked perfectly for me. So then I started working with two other couples on two different movements from the suite.’
A few years ago, it was unheard of for anybody other than Richard Alston to choreograph work for the company. Lawrance changed all that, and Brink is his fourth creation for Alston’s dancers. A dancer himself with Alston since 1995, Lawrance knows the company inside out. ‘It feels natural for me when I make work on them,’ he says. ‘I work in a slightly different way to Richard, yet I feel it complements the company ethos.’