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Subject: "Review Richard Alston DC, QEH" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1487
Reading Topic #1487
Bruce Madmin

26-03-01, 10:13 PM (GMT)
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"Review Richard Alston DC, QEH"
 
   Richard Alston Dance Company
QEH - 20.3.2001

Going to see Richard Alston at the QEH is a cultured and above all well-mannered thing I think. The audience is a big mix of types, definitely come to see rather than be seen, the critics are all out in force, other choreographers find reason to drop in, the ambience is pleasant, the seats comfortable. But most of all the music, design, choreography and dancers are all so well-mannered. Itís not the type of show to whip up mass hysteria or incredible stomach-churning passion, rather one comes away quietly glowing and happy about life.

The evening opened with last autumnís new piece, Tremor, to a Shostakovich string quartet played live, and rather well, on stage. Not an easy listen but at times it becomes very lyrical - warm even. Alston choreography - generally - throws the arms into great prominence, sometimes spread wider than wide, at other times all folded and compact and while the look is often bent and angular there is a softness and almost classical ease in the watching. Tremor, though, is often a dark and brooding piece raised higher in a wonderful long duet for Diana Loosmore and Martin Lawrence towards the end. There are feelings of endeavour, sorrow and strife and while the human spirit does not necessarily triumph one does not loose hope altogether. Itís that well-mannered thing.

Also well-mannered is the sex in Fever - Alston's latest work. The Baroque music of Monteverdi madrigals is delicious and conjurors chubby cherubs floating around voluptuous couples. This is innocent and playful sensuousness, deepening as relationships play through. At one point all movement stops and there is an image of almost Zen-like simplicity: the floor - shimmering in the lightest of silvery blue moonlight - almost appears as a Japanese pebble garden with the two dancers as the only rocks in it. I love Alston's duets and the way they often pour out across the floor, sometimes entwined, often loosely bound. Fever seemed a perfect counterpoint to the baleful Tremor.

The final work was Alton's 'kick arse' piece Roughcut, to some effervescent Steve Reich. Minimalist music, in this case for Clarinet and Guitar, is not everybodyís cup of tea but I adore it in its own right and good dance merely amplifies that enjoyment. Everything is off balance and busy - but itís well-mannered again and while the dancers look pushed there is not the exhausting drive you would have got from Twyla Tharp or (cough splutter) Ashley Page. That's just fine and the source of Alston's attraction for me ≠ itís not raw but a thoughtful, rounded and flowing movement that satisfies.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Review Richard Alston DC, QEH Stephanie Wragg 28-03-01 1
     RE: Review Richard Alston DC, QEH Bruce Madmin 30-03-01 3
  RE: Review Richard Alston DC, QEH pantoose 29-03-01 2
     RE: Review Richard Alston DC, QEH Bruce Madmin 30-03-01 4

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Stephanie Wragg

28-03-01, 04:51 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Review Richard Alston DC, QEH"
In response to message #0
 
   Hi Bruce,

I am glad to read another opinion regarding the RADC current tour.

My posting of last March 11th was overall negtive compared to yours, the performance left me unmoved and I felt the choreography was very ordinary. Perhaps RA is an acquired taste?

I agree with your comment about the exhausitve drive from Twyla Tharp's work, that's definitely what one gets with 'In the Upper Room' that BRB are presenting! And it is totally lacking in RA's work.

I am attending my last RB performance for a long time on Friday night and then it's off to Augusta, Georgia. Any interest in reviews of the Augusta Ballet or Atlanta Ballet?


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Bruce Madmin

30-03-01, 10:18 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Review Richard Alston DC, QEH"
In response to message #1
 
  
>
>I am attending my last RB
>performance for a long time
>on Friday night and then
>it's off to Augusta, Georgia.
> Any interest in reviews
>of the Augusta Ballet or
>Atlanta Ballet?


Sorry to see you going and yes please - you are now the official 'deep south' Ballet.co reviewer!

Have a great time and do come back!


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pantoose

29-03-01, 04:13 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Review Richard Alston DC, QEH"
In response to message #0
 
   " . . . conjurors chubby cherubs" (?)


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Bruce Madmin

30-03-01, 10:20 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Review Richard Alston DC, QEH"
In response to message #2
 
   >" . . . conjurors chubby
>cherubs"
>(?)
>

That's renaissance art for you!


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