Dance preview: Tangent, Richard Alston Dance Company
World premiere finds contemporary dance and tango getting up close and personal
This article is from 2016.
Born in the dance halls of late 19th-century Argentina, tango has re-invented itself many times, but it's not often you find the style cropping up in contemporary dance. It fired the imagination of choreographer Martin Lawrance, however, whose tango-inspired work Tangent receives its world premiere in Edinburgh, as part of a quadruple bill from Richard Alston Dance Company.
'Not many people know this, but I first started ballroom and tango at the age of nine,' says Lawrance. 'My grandparents used to take me and my sister to weekly lessons, and that's where the fascination started.'
Set to the music of late great tango nuevo exponent, Astor Piazzolla, Tangent follows in the wake of previous Lawrance creations for the Alston company, none of which have been short on passion.
'I find the closeness of pure Argentinian tango passionate and sensual, and that influenced me while making the piece,' he says. 'However I'm not recreating tango – this is a Lawrance version.'
Lawrance's dramatic work Stronghold is also on the autumn programme, alongside two works by Alston himself, An Italian in Madrid and Mazur – none of which have been seen in Edinburgh before. For the former dancer turned company associate choreographer, owning half the bill is a big step.
'It's very exciting to see two of my works alongside two of Richard's, but it also challenges me to make each piece different and yet still have my own voice,' says Lawrance. 'My previous work, Burning was such a big success with Edinburgh audiences, it will be interesting to see how it works having two Lawrance pieces on the bill.'
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Fri 23 Sep.