Richard Alston Dance Company

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 14 Nov

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CONTEMPORARY DANCE

A trip to see the Richard Alston Dance Company used to mean one thing - Richard Alston. Since its formation in 1994, the company only performed work choreographed by Alston himself. Which, given his crowd-pleasing style and eclectic musical taste, was hardly a problem. But the talent of Martin Lawrence has certainly been a welcome addition in recent years.

Supervised by one of the founding fathers of contemporary dance, Lawrence appreciates his good fortune. ‘I’m very grateful that Richard’s taking an interest in my choreography,’ he says. ‘He’s almost my mentor in that way. For years we only ever performed his work, so this is amazing for me.’

This year’s line-up will see two works by Alston - The Devil In The Detail and Red Run - plus Lawrence’s About Face. Between them, they use music by Ragtime legend, Scott Joplin, modern jazz composer Heiner Goebbels and a 17th century baroque piece by Marain Marais.

Although Lawrence’s work fits Alston’s company like a glove, he’s very much his own man. ‘People call me Alston’s protégé, but I am what I am and I can only do what’s in my heart,’ says Lawrence. ‘And it’s lovely to hear Richard tell people “Martin’s got his own voice”.’

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