Richard Alston Dance Company
Norwich Theatre Royal
> Norwich Theatre Royal
This contemporary dance company is on its tenth anniversary tour and makes its annual pilgrimage to Norwich with an impressive line up of three pieces, including two new dances.
Under the careful guidance of former dancer turned artistic-director Alston, the dancers are as precise, well crafted and elegant as always, while the chosen music remains at the heart of each piece – Alston is generally regarded as the best interpreter of music in the dance world.
Fever is the first piece, performed to Monteverdi's madrigals. All 10 dancers are involved in this angst-ridden piece which certainly isn't feverish. Rather, it's a study of seduction, with the dancers gently caressing each other throughout.
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Next is Such Longing, Alston's brand new work which he created in collaboration with young Lancashire pianist Jason Ridgway.
Set to Chopin's Nocturnes and Etudes, this isn't the usual pretty, pretty Chopin but rawer, more heart-felt as the composer longs for his Polish homeland.
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The final piece is the more upbeat Gypsy Mixture, created last year, which lets the dancers enjoy themselves a bit more.
With music taken from the CD Electric Gypsyland, you have the cries of Balkan singers remixed by DJs from Chile and Brazil to produce a heady cocktail of rhythms that the dancers fully exploit.
It's more joyful and colourful and you get a sense of the travellers trying to maintain their independence and free spirit against the odds.
This company is one of the most accessible and successful modern dance troupes in Britain and one of the few who are willing to perform on a large stage – and they do with maturity and confidence.