The Richard Alston Dance Company: Final Edition looked good and I enjoyed it.
However, I'll never get away with that as a review, and Sir Richard Alston and his magnificent dance company deserve more in any case.
Formed in 1994, this group has been thrilling audiences every single year with new work and for this final tour, the thrills are no less. On its stop at Northampton, the pieces performed went from the gently simmering Brahms Hungarian to the bold heartwarming Mazur, onto pace and drama in A Far Cry, and ending with a stunning collection of pieces in Voices and Light Footsteps.
The nine-strong company that performed these pieces, all impressive in their different ways often, were; Elly Braund, Niall Egan, Alejandra Gissler, Jennifer Hayes, Joshua Harriette, Nahum McLean, Jason Tucker, Nicholas Shikkis and Ellen Yilma.
My second favourite piece of the evening, from Alston, was Mazur, performed by Joshua Harriette and Nicholas Shikkis. Influenced by Chopin's time in exile in Paris, this told a tale of friendship, a friendship which within the piece was very much open to interpretation at times, and it was bold and strongly performed from the two performers, particular brilliant to watch were Shikkis' spins. A powerful piece.
Brahms Hungarian was perhaps the weakest of the pieces for me (although that should read as still rather fabulous, but not as). For me, this was simply because after a while it became a little bit samey, perhaps mostly due to the similar music throughout offering restrictions at times. There was no less skill involved from the performers, and at times this was the piece that drifted the closest to ballet. Within this piece, I felt that Jennifer Hayes' emotional style shone through.
It is a little sad perhaps that this is the final tour of the company, however, from this final evening, it is a fitting way to end 25 years, with a strong company of dancers and at the helm an artistic director of obvious, very obvious passion for what he does. A thrilling, emotional evening of dance. Catch it while you can.
Performance reviewed: Tuesday 1st October 2019 at the Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton.
The Richard Alston Dance Company perform at the Royal & Derngate until Wednesday 2nd October 2019 only before continuing their tour. Details of dates and locations can be found at http://www.richardalstondance.com/
For further details visit the Royal & Derngate website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/
Photos: Chris Nash