Richard Alston Dance Company| Wednesday 13th March 2013

My annual trip to see Richard Alston Dance Company at Norwich Theatre Royal. Whilst I love that Alston succeeds in branching out to audience members who don’t have much an association with contemporary dance, I’m still processing my feelings about the performance.

Richard Alston and his work is very technical and rhythmical, but I can’t help feeling that sometimes his pieces are a little bit boring. Don’t shoot me for saying that! I admire the technicality of the choreography and the execution of the dancers- namely Hannah Kidd, who unequivocally stole the show! Yet, I felt like all pieces were a little too upright, they lacked the use of levels and the earthy quality that companies like Hofesh Schechter and Retina exude.

The Devil In The Detail:

I think this was perhaps my favourite out of the trio of works. The light hearted piano accompaniment with ballet scores underlined the traditionalist quality of Alston’s work. Yet this also allowed the dancers to include a sunny personality which in my opinion helped make up for the repetitive and slightly static nature of the dance. 

Shimmer:

I really loved the effeminate costumes in this piece. The gentle lighting and soft dramatic music really helped compliment the choreography. I am also a sucker for a good bit of unison, and think that Shimmer succeeded in using this tool to really push the choreography. Nevertheless, the lack in dynamics in this piece made the overall effect rather prosaic and for this reason I was a little bit unsatisfied at the end.

Buzzing Round The Hunnisuccle:

The music in this piece certainly echoed, the title, and I liked the more dynamic choreography to match the music. Plus the contrast between the periods of leg-gy movement and pauses made the piece much more exciting and really intrigued me as an audience member.

Do not doubt that I do not enjoy Richard Alston. I believe the quality of dancers in the company and the technical choreography is to a very high standard, of which I think would be very enjoyable to perform. I just think that Richard Alston, unlike other companies, continues to follow the same style path rather than exploring new exciting choreographic ventures, and in my opinion makes it a little bit boring in comparison to other companies, despite being a foundation for contemporary dance.

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