Richard Alston Final Edition Review
Last night I watched Richard Alstons Final Edition at Malvern Theatres. This is the last time the Richard Alston Company is producing and touring work so for me it was a must see. This final edition is due to changes made by The Place and the Arts Council England who are shifting funding to make an emphasis on touring younger artists. Last night showcased a range of Alston’s Choreography broadcasting his dynamic movement and formations that I personally can’t take my eyes off.
Up first was Voices and Light Footsteps. Set to must by Monteverdi I enjoyed the complementary movements and how the motifs and changes in direction depicted the changing voices and tones. Alston selects such strong technical dancers for his company, so every movement is so clean it was a wonder to watch. Up next was Mazur, I found this to be a charming work with a lovely focus on human connection but with a sad undertone of a struggle. When I got home, I read the program note on this work it said ‘Sharing what they live and what they regret having lost’ which I think summed it up perfectly. This was also set to a live pianist. As a dance teacher and artist, myself there is nothing more invigorating than dancing and interacting with a live musician. This was followed by ‘Isthmus’ this was a short piece created in celebration of Bob Lockyears birthday. I think this was my least favourite work of the evening but I am not sure exactly why. I think the outstanding second half of the evening has pushed this one aside.
Red Run was so powerful and strong the music by Heiner Goebbels suited it down to a T. This work was such a contrast. I enjoyed the use of floor work complimented by the use of light. There was something strangely aggressive and slightly primal about this work. Red Run was followed by ‘A Far Cry’ set time the music or Edward Elgar. Elgar composed a majority of his work in Malvern was a complete high point of the evening. The fast moving, dynamic, frantic yet flawless movement was a wonder to watch the speed had me sat on the edge of my seat. I have too many words about this piece and as a dance artist myself it has inspired and sparked that choreography corner in my head. It was just stunning to watch and was without a doubt my favourite. I am going to leave that one there as I think I could bore you all day with big words on this one.
I have always enjoyed the power use of technique and the use of formation patterns in Alstons choreography and have followed his work since studying Soda Lake in school. When watching his work you are one moment watching a quartet and the next they have intertwined, and the full company is present on stage. Another blink and you are mesmerized by a soulful duet. The lighting design for all pieces was stunning and the costumes complimented the strong dancers bodies. I am a mega fan of side lighting, so I love a work full of it as I think it really captures movement well.
You can check out my previous review on Alston’s work here: Richard Alston Dance Company at Malvern Theaters Review.
Thanks for taking a look.
Chloe May x
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