Modern dance company to unveil newest piece in world premiere for Norwich


Monique Jonas and Liam Riddick dance Gypsy Mixture
Photo: Tom Bowles

Richard Alston Dance Company is an avidly followed UK dance company with some of the world’s most talented contemporary dancers, and it returns with a full programme of works including a brand new piece by associate choreographer Martin Lawrance which will receive its world premiere at the Theatre Royal on Friday 2 February.

In Cut and Run, Martin Lawrance takes his inspiration from contrasting music by two contemporary classical composers, Damian Legassick and Michael Gordon, from the Icebreaker album Terminal Velocity. Fast frenetic rhythm with a cool sombre undertone takes the dancers into a world of shadow and swift dodges.

Martin Lawrance, who hails from Leicester, danced with the Richard Alston Dance Company from 1995 to 2007 and had over 25 works created on him before turning his talents to choreography. He is recently returned to the UK following a sabbatical working in the Philippines with Ballet Manila founder and artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde to choreograph her vision of a modern-day Spartacus.

Ihsaan de Banya and Jennifer Hayes dance Gypsy Mixture
Photo: Chris Nash

A brand new piece by Richard Alston will also be performed. Carnaval is danced to Schumann’s beautiful and evocative piano solo of the same name and revolves around the complicated personality of the composer.

Carnaval had its world premiere at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, on Friday 22 September 2017. Inspired by the life and relationships of Robert Schumann, two dancers depict the dual aspects of the composer’s personality (he struggled with mental illness), showing his wife, Clara, struggling to love both sides.

The dance sees couples waltzing in masked flirtation, responding to the stunning and complex score played live onstage by pianist Jason Ridgway, while costumes are by BAFTA Award winning designer Fotini Dimou who previously worked on Alston’s An Italian in Madrid and Illuminations.

The third piece will be Gypsy Mixture, a great Alston favourite, which has been newly-revived for the first time in a decade. It will move the pace up a notch taking its tempo from the music of Electric Gypsyland, which has its roots in flamenco mixing Roma music with techno mixed by DJs and artists from Chile to Frankfurt.

With exhilarating dancing full of leaps and shimmies played out to the infectious music of Romanian and Macedonian gypsy bands, it is a dance to lift the spirits and quicken the pulse.

Judy Foster, of Norwich Theatre Royal, said:The 2018 visit by Richard Alston Dance Company brings another diverse programme showing off the company’s versatility and dynamic dance skills and is guaranteed to set some sizzle into the cold winter months. We will have a much-loved favourite in Gypsy Mixture, and are excited to see Richard Alston’s newest piece Carnaval which is set to beautiful music played live on stage – and we are thrilled to be hosting the premiere here in Norwich for Martin Lawrence’s new Cut and Run.”

Richard Alston Dance Company perform here  on 2&3 February. Buy tickets now at Norwich Theatre Royal.