LONDON, UK: Richard Alston Dance Company announces its Sadler’s Wells season, "Quartermark"
Richard Alston Dance Company
Richard Alston Dance Company has announced the programme for its 2019 Sadler’s Wells season. Following the announcement of the company’s closure in 2020, this will be the first of its final two seasons there. As the company enters its 25th year, it will present two works by Alston and one by the company’s associate choreographer, Martin Lawrance under the title Quartermark.
Over the 50 years that Richard Alston has been making dance, music has increasingly become his driving force and he is now widely regarded as one of the world’s most musical choreographers.
Brahms Hungarian is set to Brahms’ wildly popular Hungarian Dances. Seeing a new slant on the Roma culture that has long fascinated him, Alston has wanted to make a dance to this music for years. Long-time Alston collaborator pianist Jason Ridgway plays live and the company’s nine superlative dancers are carried along by fast steps and a joyous, abandoned fervour as they respond to the music’s rhythms. The stylish, elegant costumes are by theatre, film and tv designer Fotini Dimou, another regular member of Alston’s creative team.
In contrast Alston's Proverb, to Steve Reich’s score for voices and percussion, is cool and serene - yet intensely moving. The proverb of Reich’s score is the chanted words of Ludwig Wittgenstein "How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life" (from his 1946 work Culture and Value). A version of this work was first seen in 2006 as part of the Barbican’s celebrations of Steve Reich’s 70th birthday. Alston, who celebrates his own 70th birthday on 30th October, also presented an extract as part of his 2017 work Mid Century Modern.
Martin Lawrance has honed his choreographic craft at Richard Alston Dance Company where he was one of the company’s dancers from 1995 to 2007. He began creating work in earnest in 2000 and since then has choreographed for Ballet Black, Scottish Ballet and Ballet Manila, amongst others.
Detour is Lawrance’s 13th work for Richard Alston Dance Company. It is set to Michael Gordon’s pulsing Timber, for six percussionists playing amplified simantras, remixed by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Timber is the kind of score Lawrance loves to work with, driving him to create fierce, combative, thrilling movement for his dancers. Zeynep Kepepli’s clever lighting design fragments the space beneath the dancers’ feet creating a sci-fi atmosphere on stage.
The company’s dancers are Elly Braund, Carmine De Amicis, Joshua Harriette, Jennifer Hayes, Monique Jonas, Nicholas Shikkis, Ellen Yilma and, apprentices through the Postgraduate Department of London Contemporary Dance School, Melissa Braithwaite and
"Brahms Hungarian" starring Ellen Yilma and Carmine De Amicis. Photo by Chris Nash.
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