Review: Richard Alston Dance

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Richard Alston – one of the few choreographers who still embodies the spirit of the 1960s, with its fresh creativity and clear logic.

So it's special to see him create a new piece for the repertoire. This time, he has taken Britten's A Ceremony of Carols. I was interested to see how the humorous lightness of touch which I associate with Alston would marry with Britten's direct approach. The choreographer has honoured the composer with a piece that brings out its expressive qualities and respects its structure. The stage picture is dynamic and passionate as the dancers cascade, pause and whirl in unison, their red tabards flying.

Britten wrote the piece during a time of homesickness, and there is a yearning here which translates in the context of the carols to a religious longing of the soul to be free.

Companion dances for the new work were Roughcut, first seen in 1990 and Unfinished Business, a suite of dances made to Mozart's K533 and Gigue in D.


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