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 Post subject: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2001 3:03 pm 
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Image <P><B>Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill</B><P>Richard Alston is one of the most venerated choreographers working in the UK today. He marks the re-opening of The Place Theatre as The Robin Howard Theatre with a visit from his Company with quite a few new dancers. <P>Here are the calendar details from the <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/menu.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>Dance Umbrella website</B></A>. Click on the coloured dates for programme information and on the venue name for theatre details. <P>Here are our most recent threads covering the Richard Alston Dance Company <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000285.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Autumn 2000 tour</B></A> and also the <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000555.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Spring 2001 tour</B></A><P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2001 10:38 pm 
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As an introduction to Dance Umbrella, the Evening Standard has the great idea of running some career case studies from the Richard Alston Dance Company. It includes the technical staff as well as Alston and one of his dancers. An unusual and successful article.<P><B>Put the spotlight on movement</B><BR>by Deborah King in The Evening Standard<P><BR>Dance Umbrella is the largest international contemporary dance festival in the country. One of the 22 companies taking part this year is the Richard Alston Dance Company, premiering two new works: Water Music and Strange Company. <P>It takes passion, dedication and a team of hard-working people to create that magical moment when the curtain goes up for each performance. <P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/jobs/career/top_story.html?in_review_id=461489&in_review_text_id=414227" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more....</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 2:14 am 
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<B>PARI NADERI: GETTING UNDER THE SKIN</B><P>WHO: RICHARD ALSTON DANCE COMPANY<BR>WHEN: TUE 9 - WED 10 OCTOBER <BR>WHERE: THE PLACE THEATRE<BR>TICKETS: 020 7387 0031<P>Pari Naderi, of the Richard Alston Dance Company, was all set to get a law degree. Dance had just been a hobby, since she was twelve. But, she says, "I loved jumping around so much. When it came to the crunch, I figured my brain would still be here but my body would only last for a few years." The verdict? Dance won.<P>Between 1989 and 1992 Naderi majored in English at the Roehampton Institute, but she also trained in dance. After a year with the National Youth Dance Company she sought further training at London Contemporary Dance School. Eventually she worked independently with Javier De Frutos, Gary Lambert, Charles Linehan, Henri Oguike and Colin Poole. She joined Alston in 1998, having been attracted beforehand both by his work and that of Lloyd Newson's DV8 Physical Theatre.<P>What a contrast in motive and method! But not so far-fetched. Naderi brings an innate sense of drama to Alston's work, communicating directly and immediately through his most abstract-seeming movement. "He's quite closed about the subtext of a dance," she reveals, "if there is one." We talk a bit about Alston's 'English reserve' and the extent to which it permeates his dances. Naderi dubs him, not without affection, 'an Old English boy.' Alongside that is an emphasis on craft which can make great demands on his dancers. "The big challenge," she says, "is just to keep on top of it physically. Very few choreographers have more jumps per minute." She is referring especially to the virtual Alston signature piece Roughcut, quite a contrast to his more introvert dances and one requiring considerable stamina. "Exhausting, but brilliant fun" is how Naderi pegs it.<P>"Richard's primary driving force is music," she continues. "I love his musicality. He has strong ideas from the start of the rehearsal period, having studied and lived with the music for a long time beforehand. Naderi concedes, however, that it can be difficult if you don't happen to like the music chosen as his choreographic springboard. Then it's simply a matter of the music 'getting under your skin. It gets easier to do."<P>Music is, pardon the pun, instrumental in the learning and retention of dance steps and moves. "You can count it, sing it, or a combination of the two," Naderi says. "In rehearsals a lot of people go 'la la la,' because singing is more naturally in the body than counting." Despite dancers' much-vaunted 'muscle-memory' and choreographers' use of videotape, bits of movement are lost or changed during rehearsal simply because of forgetfulness. This doesn't seem to throw Alston unduly. "Whatever you feel comfortable with is more important for him," Naderi says, "as long as you make it your own."<P>Like actors with their lines, dancers can lose their place in the choreographic text. There is a safeguard, of sorts. "If you blank onstage," Naderi confesses, "your body keeps on moving till you remember where you're meant to be." When that has happened, so far as she can tell, Alston hasn't noticed.<P><BR><P>------------------<BR>This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera.<P>Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.<P>This interview first appeared in either the Spring or Autumn 2001 editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR> <BR>Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR>Call: 020 8741 5881 <BR>Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk <BR>Web: <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.danceumbrella.co.uk</A>

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This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2001 11:11 pm 
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A review by Ismene Brown in The Telegraph<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>HALLELUJAH! The Place is no longer drab and smelly, but has been transformed into a venue we will be positively glad to go to. A beautiful refit has transformed it with purposeful luxuriousness. Which could also be said of Richard Alston's new look, when his company launched the renamed Robin Howard Theatre within the complex.<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=005760794236107&rtmo=rQmSSbhX&atmo=rrrrrrrq&pg=/et/01/10/11/btinfl11.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE... </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2001 12:21 am 
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<B>Richard Alston Dance Company</B> <BR>by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian (2* out of 5)<P><BR>The first two works are the most sympathetic to the intractably small venue. The luminous solo Soda Lake, which Alston first created for Michael Clark in 1981, is still a marvel of body sculpture. Amanda Weaver makes every shape look beautiful but, like many in Alston's youthful ensemble, she doesn't yet know how to push her physical and imaginative range. Even better for this intimate stage is Alston's 1994 setting of Britten's Lachrymae, in which the two dancers appear to be attending to some sorrowful music in each other's hearts. <P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,567191,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2001 1:16 am 
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Allen Robertson discusses Dance Umbrella for The Times, and in particular, scrolling down, Richard Alston:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Then Umbrella moved on to its major leitmotif of the season with the reopening of the renovated 300-seat Place Theatre by the Richard Alston Dance Company, the first of nine events there. <P>Alston, the de facto grand old man of contemporary dance in Britain, chooses to explore a relatively narrow, some would claim old-fashioned, notion of dance. Gazing back on his considerable body of work, we can see a sequence of fluid, intricate dances that dovetail into one another in an all-but-seamless stream.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001353874,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A> <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2001 3:35 am 
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Clement Crisp of the Financial Times reviews the opening night gala of the Place and Alston on the following days, as well as giving an in-depth history of the Place, itself:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Alston has revived the meditative Soda Lake which he made for Michael Clark 20 years ago. Now it is danced - superlatively - by Amanda Weaver. A beautiful young woman, she has a long, lean physique and delineates every long, lean line of the choreography with immense concentration (memories of Picasso drawing on film with a light-pencil) and exquisite finesse. Very fine, and still shot through with Clark's classical presence.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=011013001139&query=clement+crisp" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2001 11:29 pm 
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Jan Parry in the Observer talks about several Umbrella events.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><P>Richard Alston 's company, based at the Place, officially inaugurated the enlarged stage before setting out again on its autumn tour. The programme, unfortunately, was ill-judged for this theatre <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,573375,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE... </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2001 11:43 pm 
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Discussion about the re-opening of The Place and a review of Richard Alston in The Sunday Times<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Richard Alston was one of the first students of the school in the 1960s and one of the earliest new choreographers at The Place, of which he is now artistic director; and it was his company, with a programme of two premieres and two revivals, that reopened the house on Tuesday <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/standing/shared/bg.n.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE... </B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2001 11:03 pm 
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Review in the Independent<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>Sixteen months and £7m later, The Place remains in Euston but boasts gleaming studios, offices and a theatre renamed after its founder. There is a handsomely changed foyer and bar, and plush mauve seating, but otherwise stage and auditorium look much the same. The Richard Alston Dance Company, which as resident company launched the new era, looks pretty much the same too, not so much in its dancers, as in the four pieces it performed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/dance/reviews/story.jsp?story=99429" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE... </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company - Mixed Bill
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2001 11:26 am 
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Alston's mixed bill opened The Place on 10 October as part of the Dance Umbrella. The evening was a medley of Alston's work ranging 20 years.<P>The evening was full of what I call 'dancer's dance', by that I mean, the sort of dance that appeals to those of us very familiar with 'modern dance', but would probably leave Average Joe On The Street bored to tears - or worse - alienated.<P>'Lachrymae' was an emotional piece centred around 3 duets which echo the emotional range of Britten's score. The music does most of the work throughout the dance, and while the score was overwhelmingly percussive and rythmic, the dance struggled to keep up. I didn't like this piece, but I was not in majority as the sold-out house absolutely loved it. This piece was created in 1994 and is a very good representation of the 'modern' canon of western theatrical dance.<P>The highlight of the show for me was 'Strange Company', there's something about having live accompaniment on stage which adds a very human element to dance. It seemed to me the only piece where the dancers were really feeling the music.<P>The second movement of 'Strange Company' was fantastic, in its dynamic range and energetic dancing. All the solo work was beatifully executed with flawless lines and excellent musicality. The star of the show was obviously danseur Jason Piper. He matched and then challenged the nuances of the music and his sharp and defined movement that was about as exact as a mathematical equation. <P>My biggest criticism of Alston's crew is that they lack a sense of togetherness, and I felt that throughout the evening they did not dance consistently enough together to constitute an ensemble and they might as well have been 10 solo artists who just happened to be dancing together in the same room. <P>That is harsh, I know, I don't like writing reviews like this, and I think I have the courage to do so, only because my identity is somewhat protected with just my first name appearing in the byline.


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