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Richard Alston Dance Company

at Festival Theatre

* * * * -

A vibrant celebration of music and dance.

Image of Richard Alston Dance Company

Much-revered choreographer, Richard Alston, returns to the Festival Theatre with his talented company in an exhilarating triple bill that has the audience gripped from beginning to end.

The show is a celebration of music—where it has come from and where it can take you. In the first piece, Carnaval, the dancers embody the dual personality of German composer, Robert Schumann. In writing his piece, Schumann wanted to reflect the emotional extremes of his two personae, Florestan and Eusebius, and as the emotions build through the music, the dancing changes from lyrical and flowing to a sharper, more physical style. It is a breathtaking performance, accompanied impressively by live pianist, Jason Ridgway.

The second piece pays homage to the ChaconyHenry Purcell’s Chacony in G minor and Benjamin Britten’s Chacony from his 2nd String Quartet Op.36. The talented dancers portray a formality of movement in ordered lines and synchronised steps, before breaking out to represent the turmoil of life, finally returning to more order to symbolise the resilience of the human spirit. There are some beautiful moments, but the best is yet to come: the triple bill is about to explode with colour and vibrancy.

Gypsy Mixture has the makings of an iconic piece of dance that will be performed for centuries to come. A celebration of the music of the Gypsy culture, the intelligent choreography combines traditional movement with contemporary technique, all performed to a sensational score by Electric Gypsyland. The performers look like they are having fun, and this positivity is infectious. The company perform in groups, triplets, duets and as soloists seamlessly, and always with an energy which honours the Gypsy music and culture.

It is a wonderful celebration of choreography, dance and music, and Alston shows how important the three are together in supporting the process of performance. The audience will look forward to Alston’s return to Edinburgh with relish.