A Day in the Life of New York Theatre Ballet as they work with British Choreographer Richard Alston
British Choreographer, Richard Alston,Creates "A Rugged Flourish" (World Premiere) on the dancers of The New York Theatre Ballet.
A Day in the Life of The New York Theatre Ballet: Celebrated British choreographer, Richard Alston, creates A Rugged Flourish for the companies last Signature Series performance of the 2011 Season.
Photos ©Julia Cervantes, 2011
Story ©Christine Jowers, 2011
As far as the kick (battement) is concerned, Alston coaches the dancers to think of their torsos and arms as more important then the leg.
"The battement just doesn't happen by itself, you know what I mean. The leg is a side effect. I want it to be connected to the chest opening, (as well as to) the shoulders and to the arm. It’s not about the look, or displaying the battement. The movement is a big breath that pulls you up stage.”
Alston has chosen to work with a piece of music he has always loved, the 1930’s Piano Variations by Aaron Copland. The score is in his hand for most of the rehearsal and he sings it for the dancers as they review bits of choreography. The music inhabits him. Alston first heard it when he was a young student of Robert Cohan in 1968 and noted that Martha Graham danced a solo to this piece. In his minds eye he can just picture her performing it because of the weight, grit, and determination in the music. His challenge was to bring a dance form that is light and "up" to a piece of music that is “heavy”. The challenge attracted him.
A Rugged Flourish was completed, or at least out and into the dancers bodies, in eight days. “When a piece flows out like that it is a good sign,” Alston comments.
Before he became the artistic director of The Place, Alston worked for 12 years as the resident choreographer and artistic director of Ballet Rambert. Ballet Rambert performed many of the pieces that The New York Theater Ballet will be performing on May 13th and 14th at Florence Gould Hall: for example, Merce Cunningham's Septet and Frederick Ashton's Capriol Suite. This shared history coupled with with the talents of the dedicated young artists of The New York Theatre Ballet have helped Alston feel very much at home away from home.
Performances at Florence Gould Hall, May 13-14, 2011 55 East 59th Street 7pm
A Rugged Flourish ( World Premiere) /Alston
Jardin aux Lilas/Tudor
5 General | 0 Students & Seniors
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