Dancing fun in Northampton

Richard Alston Dance Company
Richard Alston Dance Company

The highly-acclaimed Richard Alston Dance Company returns to Northampton for two nights of contemporary dance.

There will be two exciting new works and an old favourite in the programme which features extraordinary dancers, exhilarating choreography and a wide range of music.

Carnaval is a brand new work by choreographer Richard Alston, inspired by Carnaval, a brilliant piece for piano by German composer Robert Schumann, where characters from the Commedia dell’arte

express the dual personality of the schizophrenic Schumann.

Played live by pianist Jason Ridgway, the

music incorporates characters including Harlequin, Pierrot and Columbine.

Alston’s characteristic style of precise musicality and meticulous eye for detail is also showcased in his Chacony, which received its London premiere at Sadler’s Wells in June. The piece is inspired by Henry Purcell’s powerful Chacony in G minor (1680), and Britten’s tribute to Purcell, the Chacony from his String

Quartet No. 2. The dance celebrates the richness and nobility of Purcell, reaching into darker places, before reaffirming hope for humanity.

Alston has also revived his much loved Gypsy Mixture from 2004. With exhilarating dancing to the infectious music of Romanian and Macedonian gypsy bands, the dancers swirl around each other with technical precision, as the combination of choreography and music conjure up vivid images of a group of people with their own identity.

Working with 20 young people aged 14 to 19, chosen from ten schools in Northamptonshire and

Bedfordshire, Ihsaan de Banya and Laura Gibson will also choreograph a piece for Alston Inspired, the Arts Council England funded project in collaboration with locally based dance company, Two Thirds Sky.

This short dance piece will be performed as a curtain-raiser ahead of the main performances.

There will be chance to hear Richard Alston talk about the programme at a pre-show talk on Thursday October 5 at 6.30pm. The talk is free to ticket-holders but booking is essential

It can be seen on Thursday October 5 and Friday October 6. For further details or to book tickets visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk