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 Post subject: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2002 11:20 pm 
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Richard Alston
by Donald Hutera in The Times


RICHARD ALSTON’s troupe, midway through a spring tour, fared well this week in Brighton. The choreographer’s dances looked uncrowded and handsome in a venue not always known for showing a company off to its best advantage. The dancers who joined Alston last year have been broken in, the entire ensemble acquiring a unity absent from their autumn performances. Now it’s as if they are all breathing the same air.

Alston has a secure reputation as the music maestro of contemporary British dance. The engines of his dances are their scores. At times it’s as if he were collaborating even with dead composers. His 1994 sextet Lachrymae is a fine example. Set to an orchestration for viola and strings by Benjamin Britten, it has a tender dynamic underscored by Peter Mumford’s burnished lighting.

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<small>[ 30 November 2003, 05:20 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2002 1:19 am 
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Image <P>First reviews for the Richard Alston Dance company at the South Bank:<P><BR><B>Richard Alston - New Programme 2002</B><BR>Rating: 1* (out of from -1 to 3)<BR>by Luke Jennings in The Evening Standard<P><BR>Watching an evening of Richard Alston's choreography can be subtly maddening. <P>The work is so impeccably refined - so precisely pitched between narrative and abstraction, between mood and meaning - that it leaves almost no footprint on the senses at all. It's all in the best possible taste, but its seamless discretion denies the watcher any point of emotional entry. An hour or so into an Alston programme I usually find myself longing for some scorching vulgarity, or to see the flow corrupted in some way.<P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/dance_review.html?in_review_id=490866&in_review_text_id=494568" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P>************************<P><B>Serving up tequila without the worm</B> <BR>Ismene Brown in The Daily Telegraph reviews the Richard Alston Dance Co at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.<P><BR>STEELY-EYED pimps and backless dames in tango's dark dives are not the sort of people you might associate with Richard Alston, the most professorial of modern choreographers.<P>But Touch and Go, which premiered on Wednesday night, is his take on that fabulous dance style, and it has all his usual restrained urbanity. Alston-lovers will find this a well-balanced evening, starting with the jazzy Red Run, calming to the quiet solo Soda Lake and duet Light Flooding into Darkened Rooms, before Touch and Go.<P>If I sound cool and distant, it's because I find Alston just so when he picks music that is little suited to his temperament. If I remind you that he is an Old Etonian, it is because Alston can't take the public schoolboy out of his dances. <P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2002/03/22/btteq22.xml&sSheet=/arts/2002/03/22/ixartleft.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P>**************************************<P><B>Richard Alston</B> <BR>(3 stars out of 5)<BR>By Judith Mackrell in The Guardian<P><BR>There isn't a single seamed stocking in Richard Alston's new tango piece, nor is it spiked with any of the dance form's traditional flick-knife footwork. But Touch and Go, set to music by Astor Piazzolla, is still identifiably a tango, and it does manage to capture some of the seesawing drama of combativeness and abandon that make the dance unique. <P>Alston's choreographic mission is to find his own ways of releasing and containing the music's energy. In some of the dance numbers - the male duets especially - he sends his couples wheeling out into space, their limbs slicing the air and syncopating the music in taut, flaring lines. In others he keeps them close to each other's chests, but creates an almost wrestling intensity in the way their torsos arch away and fold back in to their partner's embrace.<P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4379329,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 26, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2002 3:45 am 
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<B>Oh brothers, who art thou? <P>Interwoven Dostoevsky storylines have lost the plot </B><P>Jann Parry<BR>Sunday March 24, 2002<BR>The Observer <P>Brothers, Arc Dance Company Cambridge Arts Theatre <BR>Richard Alston Dance Company QEH, London SE1 <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>You can't keep tabs on an epic Russian novel without a list of dramatis personae and their family connections. Yet Kim Brandstrup assumes we can follow interwoven story lines from three Dostoevsky novels without a word of help. The title of his latest dance-drama, Brothers, implies that some of the male cast are Karamazovs. What, though, are we to make of three drably-dressed females: wife, mother, whore? Sister, mother-in-law, fiancee? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,672790,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 26, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2002 11:40 pm 
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Review in the Sunday Times.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Tango is the three-piece white polyester suit on the middle-aged divorcée of modern dance. However inappropriately, choreographers reach for it whenever they want to drape a little cheap sex appeal over the dry bones, tired moves and jaded attitudes of their work. It is cynical, and it shows. And, like the white polyester suit, the tango is so perfectly of its time and place that any attempt to translate it is an invitation to ridicule. You can count the number of successful tango hybrids on the fingers of a Buenos Aires knife-fighter’s right hand. <P>All of which makes Richard Alston Dance Company’s new Touch and Go even more of an unexpected pleasure. <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/article/0,,187-249293,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B> MORE </B> </A><p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited March 31, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2002 10:25 pm 
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Review in The Independent (found via the FT site).<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>HOW ODD. I think that what Richard Alston has invented in his new ballet Touch and Go is the vegetarian tango. It contains, I must say, far more going than touching; and at the risk of sounding doctrinaire I really do not believe that you can dance tango barefoot - without shoes all the cut and thrust is gone. But the underlying problem is what the Italian accordionist Roberto Daris has been allowed to do to Astor Piazolla's music. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=020402000937&query=ballet" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2002 1:03 pm 
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<B>Bare feet perform rare feats</B><BR>By ALASTAIR MACAULAY for The Financial Times <P><BR>Watching the footwork in Richard Alston's new tango piece, Touch and Go, is to feel your senses transformed. You don't need a specialist eye, and you don't need a special knowledge of the tango; the dance itself draws your eye to the brilliant rhythm of the legs and feet, and, because they make rhythm, you seem to less to see the feet than feel them. They brace like anchors, they slice like knives, they spring like fountains, but above all they glide, glide across and around the stage, glide with breathtaking rapidity and ease.<P>The music is by Astor Piazzolla, but this isn't some pastiche of Tango Argentino. It's Alston's own set of variations of the theme of the tango, and his dancers are barefoot. So, for all their speed and bite, there is a tactile, luscious quality to the way these feet feel the floor; and so the very texture of Touch and Go feels quite different from that of the tango as seen either in its most thrilling Argentinian forms or in its more demure ballroom renditions.<P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=020402001247&query=dance" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:22 am 
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I am sorry I missed the tango piece - tango is so rarely well developed beyond mere tango. The newspaper critics seem to think it was successfully developed this time.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2002 1:48 am 
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Image <BR><small>Jason Piper and Patricia Hines in the Richard Alston Dance Company.<BR>Picture: Tristram Kenton</small> <P> <BR>Think of Richard Alston and you generally do not think of the tango. The contemporary choreographer has made little use of the Latin American dance form, although if his latest piece is anything to go by, he may be well suited to it. <P>Touch and Go was the final item on the mixed bill when Alston's eponymous company appeared at London's South Bank. Set inevitably to the familiar strains of Astor Piazzolla, it spliced Alston's signature style with the flicked legs and articulated arms of tango and produced some pleasingly fast-paced partnering along the way.<P><A HREF="http://www.thestage.co.uk/paper/0214/0205.shtml" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited April 08, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2002 4:13 am 
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Jason Piper is a good dancer - he has worked with JazzXchange and is supremely musical. Once again I am sorry I missed it. The last time I went to see Alston's company - last year - I thought the programme too much by the prescribed foumula of Alstonism, and it did not inspire me. It sounds as this programme broke from that.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:15 am 
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Richard Alston Dance Company<BR>Queen Elisabeth Hall<BR>Wednesday 20 March 2002<BR>Mixed Programme<P>The 1994 founded RADC, Britain's largest independent contemporary dance company, returns to London with an energetic evenig of old and new works.<P>The programme opens eith 'Red Run', a powerful atmospheric work set to a score of 9 songs by Heiner Goebbels. The dancers seem to drift through a barren and hostile landscape in changing combinations. The piece is full of sudden mood changes that are brought to full effect by Charles Balfour's skillful lightning design.<P>'Soda Lake', an Alston classic choreographed in 1981 and inspired by Nigel Hall's sculpture of the same title, evokes the stillness and heat of the Nevada desert. There is something incredibly intense about the lone figure of a single dancer, Martin Lawrance, moving through his territory in complete and utter silence with nothing but Hall's sculpture for company. I am not very into dance without music but in this piece the minimalistic approach grabs your attention in a puzzling way.<P>'Light Flooding into Darkened Rooms' could not be more different. Dealing with the tender and delicate feelings of two individuals in an intimate encounter the work is set to 17th century lute pieces by Denis Gaultier and a contemporary composition for mandolin by Jo Kando. Played live on stage by James Woodrow, the music and the highly expressive dancing of Patricia Hines and Jason Piper melt into an impessive whole. Combined with Balfour's marvelous lightning design, which for most of the piece looks just like sun light flooding through shutters into a darkened room the intimacy of the created situation makes you almost feel like an intruder while watching.<P>'Touch and Go', the last offering of the evening, explores the energy and the provocative excitement of Tango. Astor Piazzella's music, arranged and adapted by accordionist Roberto Daris, serves as the powerful backdrop for Alston's latest creation. The fast paced choreography with its impressive and exciting duets shows off the company to great effect and makes you want to jump up and join in. My only regret is that I have no knowledge of traditional Tango dancing that would enable me to evaluate the work from that angle. It was extremly enjoyable and got a well deserved ovation.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:17 am 
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My apologies for posting my review with such a delay but I thought better late than never.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2002 7:44 am 
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A short preview piece:

Stampede is dance debut
from NorthantsNews


THE Richard Alston Dance Company returns to Northampton’s Derngate with a diverse programme of dance tomorrow and Saturday. It will begin with Stampede, a new creation by Richard Alston, set to Italian medieval music and featuring the entire company.

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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2002 7:45 am 
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The performances of the Richard Alston Dance Company in Dance Umbrella 2002 are covered in our dedicated forum.

Here is the link to the topic

<small>[ 10-17-2002, 09:45: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2002 3:49 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Article in the Herald ahead of their only Scottish date this year.

Quote:
THE news that Hamish Glen was quitting Dundee Rep for a new job down south provoked a huge reaction within the Scottish theatre scene. The old wounds caused by cutbacks in funding reopened, as did the debate about the place and status of the arts in post-devolution Scotland. In fact, Dundee has already seen prized talent departing for new pastures south of the border: earlier this year three well-established members of Scottish Dance Theatre said farewell to the company at the Rep and guess what? SDT's artistic director, Janet Smith, was genuinely thrilled for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Richard Alston Dance Company 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2002 6:45 pm 
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I saw Richard Alstons company in Cambridge a few weeks ago, we had to go as part of our A level dance course, and I was not really looking forward to it, I had to miss an important rehearsal for it and I much prefer ballet to contemporary. But I went anyway, with a little moaning about 'stupid contemporary, need to be at rehearsal' first and I really enjoyed it, I thought it was fantastic. As it was a schools performance I went to, Richard Alston was also discussing each piece before it started, and getting the dancers to demonstrate certain sections etc. I just found it really interesting, and I am really pleased I went, adn that may stop me pre-judging things before I actually see them for a little while too!!!!


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