Celebrating their 20th Birthday Richard Alston Company present ‘Alston at Home’ at The Place, the same venue where it all started with their very first opening show in 1994.
The show opens with a world premiere ‘Opening Gambit’, choreographed by Martin Lawrance who is also celebrating 20 years with the company! Lawrance describes this piece as his birthday present to the company saying ‘I used to love it when Richard created movement on me that flew around the space. I felt so free and abandoned – each performance and venue being a new territory/stamping ground! 20 years later I feel I have returned home with this piece’. The dancers resonate Lawrance’s wish to recreate the freedom he felt on stage when he danced for the company. Their movement is buoyant, carefree, and joyful. A fantastic opening to the show.
The second piece to take to the stage is a duet ‘Brisk Singing’, originally made by Alston in 1997. It is danced by Maeve McEwen and Michael Parmelee, These dancers are students from the University of Michigan where the piece was revived this spring. The duet speaks love, and bears similarity to Romeo and Juliet through the Shakespearian costume and romantic gestures. The duet is danced beautifully and encapsulates the audience with its delicate qualities.
The evening carries on with four more intriguing dance works, ‘Rasengan’ by Ihsaan de Banya, ‘Unease…’ by Joseph Toonga, and ‘Mazur’ a duet choreographed by Alston and danced by two male dancers. This is another world premiere in the show, and has the addition of a live pianist on stage with the dancers. It is a playful piece described as a dance of two friends sharing what they love and what they feel they have lost.
The final ending to the show is with Alston’s ‘Overdrive’ originally created in 2003. Set to Terry Riley’s score the dancers compliment the quick-witted music echoing with nippy footwork and a bright presence. They flood the stage with a sea of grey and coral pink costumes cleverly designed by Jeanna Spaziani.
Jennifer Hayes performance throughout the whole show is mesmerising and eye catching. A beautiful dynamic dancer who is a picture of joy and positive energy on stage. This was a jam-packed evening of dance highlighting the very best of the Richard Alston Company and proof as to why the company have been so successful over the past 20 years. Here’s to the next 20!
Thursday 11th June 2015 – Author – I.P. Dincwear Dancewear Team.