East Anglian Students Create New Dance Piece With Richard Alston

Some of East Anglia’s most gifted dancers are working with a renowned international choreographer to create a brand new piece.

Richard Alston has been working with the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) students at the Ipswich-based DanceEast to conceive and perform it.

The young people are all part of the CAT programme which works with ten-to-eighteen year olds to nurture and intensively train them prior to full-time education.

And they will perform it on stage when Richard’s company comes to Norwich Theatre Royal later this week.

Richard first spotted the students at the U.Dance National Festival 2018 held at DanceEast and was very impressed with their performance and technical skills.

On the basis of that, he decided to create a piece for them visiting them regularly at their Ipswich base to create and rehearse it alongside Hannah Kidd, who is one of the Richard Alston Dance Company’s teachers.

Richard said: “As Champion for U.Dance, an annual get-together of youth dancers from all over the British Isles, I go every year and just love to see the energy and the talent. Last summer at U.Dance in Ipswich, one of the really outstanding groups I saw were the dancers of the DanceEast CAT programme. I asked if they could appear with us in Norwich this week and they asked if a new piece could be made for them.

“I liked them so much that I agreed to make the dance myself and have had to work fast to get it together. All the dancers have worked fast too and the creative process has been really exciting. I’m hugely looking forward to seeing them onstage.”

They will perform alongside his company who are back at Norwich Theatre Royal on February 22 and 23. It will feature the premiere of associate choreographer Martin Lawrance’s new work Detour. Pace is at the core of the piece which is set to Michael Gordon’s resonant piece Timber, which has been remixed by the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.

The programme also includes one of Richard’s best-known works Proverb which sets some intricate and complex dancing to the serene and cool vocals of Steve Reich, and was first created to mark Reich’s 70th birthday.

Completing the programme is Brahms Hungarian, which is full of passionate drive and joy, and was created by Alston to the music of Brahms.