Interview: Richard Alston - at home

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Richard Alston. Photo: Hugo Glendinning

At the end of a UK tour marking their 20th anniversary, Richard Alston Dance Company are back at The Place, their London base for four nights next week. (10 – 13 June). Alston at Home includes a revival of Overdrive, his much loved – and much studied (– it’s been on the GCSE Dance syllabus for some years) – work from 2003, featuring ten dancers. Richard is playing more of a curatorial role than usual in this programme, selecting young guest choreographers to present their work alongside his own new choreography and that of house choreographer Martin Lawrance. We asked Richard to tells us a bit about who he’s chosen to work with and why…

We always try to make a special programme for The Place that is unique to the theatre and our home, and not just put on one of our regular touring programmes. Ihsaan de Banya , who is in the company, has made a new piece after his success with Casting Shadows last year for Resolution!, Jonathan Goddard is coming back to work with me, we’ve wanted to work together ever since he left the company, so this is a really good opportunity to do that.

Joseph Toonga used to invite me to watch him when he was at London Contemporary Dance School, and I loved what I saw him do in the workshop programmes, so we invited him to create a piece for the Company. I’m really keen to see what advantage he can take of this opportunity.

We will also be doing Overdrive in the programme, which will work amazingly at The Place. The dancers I made it on were terrific, but this is, I think, the most extraordinary cast I’ve seen doing it, and so I’m very excited about that. It felt very weird to be doing it all over England and not showing it at all in London, but I think it will really lift the roof off here. I feel very good about this June programme; audiences can’t get to see this kind of Richard Alston programme anywhere else, and to see 10 dancers on the stage at The Place is quite rare as well.”

Catch Richard Alston Dance Company next week at The Place 10 – 13 June, 8pm
Tickets £18 (£12 conc)

Watch dancer Ihsaan De Banya’s vlog about how he’s been working with the dancers to explore ideas of energy, Buddhism and Dragon Ball Z for his new piece.

Main photo: Richard Alston, by Hugo Glendinning

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