Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Jodie Stapleton:
I graduated from the University of Chichester with a BA (Hons) in Dance in 2013. Since then I have spent time travelling South East Asia, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and South America. I am now back in Devon hoping to carry on developing my own education in Dance and complete my teacher training next year.
Review of Richard Alston Dance Company
by Jodie Stapleton
Tuesday 12th March 2019 at Exeter Northcott Theatre.
The evening was a real taster of several different projects and pieces the company has been working on. We were treated to full dance pieces as well as excerpts of works created over the 25 year span of RADC. The company is well known for its technical, graceful and Balletic movement choices and we were not disappointed. The music choices focused on classical pieces with the added bonus of a live pianist for the final work of the evening.
The evening was opened by a work called The Crossing performed by CAT (Swindon Dance Centre for Advanced Training). The dancers were from two of the nine centres that run this part-time programme. The soundscape used was different from the rest of the evening but the movement style was unmistakably Alston. The dancers reflected each rhythm pattern and created a flowing energy through the space.
The first RADC piece Detour introduced all of the dancers in the company. There were several modern pas de deux style duets, repeated group phrases and complimentary solos. The moments of eye contact were used for the dancers to gather themselves ready to start the next movement experiment. The movement patterns were repetitive but shifted in the space, changed tempo or style due to the choice of dancer performing them. A movement based narrative was created for the audience to watch unravel.
After a short interval we observed 4 short excerpts from different dance works created for the company. It consisted of a female solo, male solo, female duet and male and female duet. They were all influenced by classical structures, each one a breakdown of the music choice. The solos were intimate, full of elongated lines and angles. The female duet was light and airy, like an allegro part of a Ballet class. It was full of rapid changes of direction and quick jumps and leaps. The final piece for this section was a simple contact duet.
The final piece for the evening Brahms Hungarian was a delight. The beautiful costumes added to the air of grace and the live music really made this piece quite special. It had the influence of social dancing tied in with close mirroring of the musical rhythms. It was as though the music was written in dance movement.
Top Image: Richard Alston Dance Company