Richard Alston celebrates 50 years of choreography

15 Feb 2018

‘Cut and Run’ by Martin Lawrance. Dancers: Ihsaan de Banya and Liam Riddick. Image: Chris Nash

Richard Alston choreographed his very first dance in 1968. 50 years later Mid Century Modern celebrates this landmark with new and old work from Alston, a fitting celebration of a half century of making dances. The programme also features London premieres of Carnaval by Alston and Cut and Run by Martin Lawrance.

For Mid Century Modern, Alston has chosen to revisit works from each decade and to create a brand new solo for BBC Young Dancer Vidya Patel, who joined the Company as a guest dancer for An Italian In Madrid in 2016, to represent the current decade.

Starting in the 70s, Alston remembers Strider, his first dance company, and how the essence of that early work was distilled into Rainbow Bandit. From the 80s, Liam Riddick will dance the solo Dutiful Ducks originally made for Michael Clark when he was 17 years old. From the 90s, Alston has chosen Signal of a Shake, its fast paced and set to the glorious music of Handel. Proverb set to the music of Steve Reich was part of a Barbican celebration of Reich’s 70th birthday in the noughties and it has never been performed since. The music Reich created is based on a medieval motet and the repetition of the phrase ‘How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life’. Representing the fifth decade Alston has created a new solo set to Debussy’s beautiful flute music Syrinx for Vidya Patel.

Alston’s Carnaval is performed to Schumann’s music of the same name. These evocative piano pieces describe different aspects of Schumann’s complicated personality. The music is played live by outstanding pianist Jason Ridgway and the costumes are by BAFTA Award-winning designer Fotini Dimou.

Cut and Run by Martin Lawrance takes inspiration from the contrasting music of two contemporary classical composers, Damian Legassick and Michael Gordon, from the Icebreaker album Terminal Velocity. Fast, frenetic rhythm with a sombre undertone takes the dancers into a world of shadow and swift dodges, challenging them to keep pace with the ever-shifting music.

Booking details:

Richard Alston Dance Company – Mid Century Modern

Fri 23 & Sat 24 Mar, 7.30pm

Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R

Tickets: £12- £38 +bkg fee

Book online via the Sadler’s Wells website.