A London Valentine
Three New York Premieres Celebrate the Return of Richard Alston Dance Company to the Joyce Theater, February 14–19
Richard Alston loves music. Of all kinds. This unabashed and enduring romance will be shared with New York audiences when the London-based Richard Alston Dance Company returns to The Joyce Theater, February 14–19, with a program of New York premieres inspired by Monteverdi, Chopin and Gypsy Balkan music.
Monteverdi’s madrigals and sinfonias form the heart of Alston’s sensual “Fever.” The 2001 dance, a series of duets and larger group sections, aglow in Charles Balfour’s golden light, radiate with the passion and tenderness of the lush score. The dance is set to a recording by the Concerto Italiano, conducted by Rinaldo Alessandrini.
The warm, melodic spirit of Chopin’s Nocturnes and Etudes inspired “Such Longing,” Alston’s homage to Jerome Robbins’s classic “Dances at a Gathering.” The dance, a suite of loving solos and duets, evokes a sense of romantic yearning. The music will be played live by pianist Jason Ridgway.
Alston throws a musical curve in the program with “Gypsy Mixture,” a fast-paced, fiercely rhythmic dance set to music from the CD “Electric Gypsyland.” The multi-layered choreography echoes and reinforces the exhilarating spirit of the Balkan Gypsy music, remixed by DJs from around the world. The disparate sounds –– Macedonian and Chilean brass bands plus a blend of clarinet and electric organ –– add new mystery to the compelling mix.
The evening curtain for Richard Alston Dance Company at The Joyce Theater is at 8pm, Tuesday through Saturday. There will also be a 2pm matinee Sunday afternoon.
Where To Go
Please note: there will be no performance on Sunday evening. Tickets are $38 and are available at the box office, by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 or online at www.joyce.org. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street.
Richard Alston choreographed his first work in 1968 while a student at the London School of Contemporary Dance. He went on to choreograph for London Contemporary Dance Theatre before leaving in 1972 to form England’s first independent dance company, Strider. After studying at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio in New York City from 1975 to 1977, Alston returned to England as an independent choreographer and teacher.
In 1980, Alston was appointed resident choreographer at Ballet Rambert, and later served as the company’s artistic director from 1986 to 1992. While with the company, he created 25 works for Rambert, and received commissions from the Royal Danish Ballet (1982) and the Royal Ballet (1983). He also choreographed “Soda Lake” (1981) and “Dutiful Ducks” (1982), two solo works for Michael Clark. Alston returned to Rambert in 2001 to choreograph “Unrest” as part of Rambert’s 70th anniversary.
Alston created a full evening of his own work in 1992 for the Ballet Atlantique in La Rochelle, France and another full evening for London Contemporary Dance Theatre at the 1994 Aldeburgh Festival. It was at that time that he assumed the post of artistic director at The Place and formed his own company. The Richard Alston Dance Company was launched at The Place in November of 1994. Over the past decade, Alston has created more than 24 works for his 10-member Company.
Alston has received a number of awards, including an honorary doctorate from Surrey University in 1992 and an honorary M.A. from University College Chichester in 2003. In 1995, Alston was awarded a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his work in France and in 2001, he was named a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) on the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
Richard Alston Dance Company has toured internationally through China, Holland, Germany, Southeast Asia, Greece and Russia, where the Company represented Britain at Moscow’s first International Festival of Contemporary Dance. Having made its U.S. debut in 2004 at The Joyce Theater, the troupe is now in the midst of its first major U.S. tour, which includes performances in Seattle, WA (January 19–21); Nashville, TN (January 24); Dallas, TX (January 27 & 28); Portland, OR (February 1); Jackson Hole, Wyoming (February 4); and Chicago, IL (February 9–11) before ending in New York City at The Joyce.
Richard Alston Dance Company season sponsor: John Pemberton.