Media Release: World premiere in Edinburgh to open Richard Alston Dance Company autumn tour

Richard Alston Dance Company_Overdrive_Nancy Nerantzi, Elly Braund and Oihana Vesga Bujan. Image by Chris Nash (small)

Richard Alston Dance Company world premiere opens autumn tour in Edinburgh

Richard Alston Dance Company opens its autumn tour with a world premiere by Martin Lawrance in Edinburgh on Friday 26 September

RICHARD Alston Dance Company is recognised as one of the most inspiring and influential UK-based choreographer-led companies, with a rich repertoire of deeply musical contemporary dance. 

Martin Lawrance’s latest choreography is a brand new commission for the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh.

This new dance is inspired by the passionately intense music of Franz Liszt, which will be played live by pianist Jason Ridgway.

Lawrance is rapidly becoming known for his musically alert and inventive choreography, including two commissions Run For It and Dark Full Ride for Scottish Ballet, and also last season’s immensely successful Madcap for Richard Alston Dance Company.

Richard Alston’s most recent work Rejoice in the Lamb will receive its Scottish premiere in Edinburgh. Inspired by Benjamin Britten’s setting of 18th century poet, Christopher Smart’s Jubilate Agno (Rejoice in the Lamb), this piece is Alston’s tenth work to Britten’s music and was commissioned for Britten’s Centenary by Peak Performances at Montclair State University, New Jersey and the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury where it premiered this February.

The programme is completed by the specially revived Overdrive, which responds to the pulsating rhythms of modern Californian composer Terry Riley and Hölderlin Fragments, danced to Britten’s calm setting of Friedrich Hölderlin’s enigmatic lyrics. Alston has dedicated Hölderlin Fragments to his teacher and mentor Pytt Geddes.

When she eventually retired, Pytt lived the last part of her life near Aberdeen and, until she died, came down to Edinburgh every year to see Richard and the company.

The company will be in residency at The Studio, a new flexible rehearsal space at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh from Monday 22 to Friday 26 September. During this week the company will be running education events and open rehearsals for local schools and colleges.

Duncan Hendry, chief executive of the Festival and King’s theatres, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting such a prestigious dance company as Richard Alston in the Studio at the Festival Theatre for a week in September.

“A part of our valuable education work, we will be able to provide Edinburgh dance students, teachers and the general public a unique and rare opportunity to see the company rehearse and talk about a brand new commission.”

Martin Lawrance, choreographer, Richard Alston Dance Company, said: “It has always been a real pleasure to dance on this fantastic stage and now to have my work premiered here is an even more special pleasure.”

Richard Alston, artistic director, Richard Alston Dance Company, said: “The Festival Theatre is truly one of the great theatres in the country and so it’s particularly exciting for us to premiere a brand new dance on this wonderful stage. Lucky Martin Lawrance, I’m jealous!”


Autumn Tour Dates 2014

Fri 26 Sep, 7.30pm
Edinburgh Festival Theatre
*New Work by Martin Lawrance, **Rejoice in the Lamb, Hölderlin Fragments, Overdrive
*World premiere **Scottish premiere

Tue 30 Sept and Wed 1 Oct, 7.30pm
Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton
Rejoice in the Lamb, New Work by Martin Lawrance, Overdrive

Tue 7 and Wed 8 Oct, 7.30pm
Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
Rejoice in the Lamb, Hölderlin Fragments, New Work by Martin Lawrance, Illuminations

Tue 14 & Wed 15 Oct, 7.30pm
Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
Rejoice in the Lamb, New Work for Martin Lawrance, Overdrive

Wed 22 Oct, 7.30pm
Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
Rejoice in the Lamb, Unfinished Business (duet), New Work by Martin Lawrance, Overdrive

Thu 30, Fri 31 Oct, Sat 1, Sun 2 Nov
Montclair State University, New Jersey (US)
Rejoice in the Lamb, Unfinished Business (duet), Hölderlin Fragments, Illuminations

Tue 11 Nov, 7.30pm
Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Rejoice in the Lamb, Hölderlin Fragments, New Work by Martin Lawrance, Overdrive

Editors’ Notes

The Place

For over 40 years, The Place has engaged with audiences and participants, championed the best ideas, and created inspiring conditions for artists and enthusiasts to realise their potential.

The Place combines London Contemporary Dance School, Richard Alston Dance Company and the Robin Howard Dance Theatre, together with pioneering learning, teaching, outreach, recreation and professional development projects.

Our approaches to participation, education, creation and performance inform each other, respond to today’s world, and embrace risks.

Our goals for the future build on the achievements of our history: to transform and enrich lives, to continue to shape where dance is going next.

Richard Alston Dance Company

Launched in 1994 to great acclaim, Richard Alston Dance Company is one of the UK’s leading choreographer-led companies, for which its founder artistic director, Richard Alston, has created over 40 dance-works. Richard Alston is also artistic director of The Place, London’s leading centre for contemporary dance, where the company is based.

Richard Alston Dance Company focuses on Alston’s new choreography but combines this with the re-creation of seminal past works from Alston’s career.

Music plays a vital part in the company’s identity and since its inception Alston has made work to the music of a diverse range of composers.

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