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Dance Review Mixed-bill marker for Richard Alston

Mid-century Modern
Place Theatre, London/Touring

MARKING 50 years of Richard Alston’s choreography, this trio of works is a reflection on modernism and its place in 21st century dance.

Showcasing some of Richard Alston Dance Company's existing repertoire as well as newly commissioned work, the programme begins with Martin Lawrence’s Cut and Run.

An experiment in light and quick shifts of movement, danced to a score by composers Damian LeGassick and Michael Gordon, there is very little breathing space for dancers and audience in a piece where lighting plays a significant role.

Carnaval, which follows, is set to Robert Schumann’s music of the same title. Exquisitely played by Faith Leadbetter, it evokes the multiplicity of the composer's personality and his relationship with wife Clara.

While the lyricism and classical references delight, it's a work with few crescendos or moments of stillness and contemplation. And it's saddening that Clara, a talented musician and composer in her own right, is reduced to Robert’s sweetheart in this portrayal.

The last piece, Gypsy Mixture, set to music by Macedonian and Romanian Gypsy bands, is uplifting and joyful. A meditation on human nature, it poses questions about what make us happy or sad.

Imbued with Alston’s renowned musicality, the piece is a lovely end to the triple bill.

Tours until March 24, details:


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