At Home – Richard Alston Dance Company: The Place, London, 3 October 2012

Sitting on my sofa, sipping at my soda

Oops, there goes another Swarovski crystal. Richard Alston’s Shimmer. Photo by Chris Nash

Opening their autumn 2012 season At Home the Richard Alston Dance Company showed off a quartet of works including, as a statement of creative intent, a couple of pieces brand new to the planet.

Despite three-quarters of the bill being Richard Alston’s work, it was the World Premiere of Martin Lawrance’s Madcap that stood out. With its aggressive full-on scrawl of movement it incorporated street dance into contemporary in as convincing a way as any piece I’ve seen.

There was an incredible opening strobe of a solo by Nathan Goodman where he flipped from posture to posture with a sure-footed (and sure-elbowed) confidence and dynamic sense of rhythm. There was also a fantastic duet from Liam Riddick and Nancy Nerantzi; they hurled each other around with formidable assurance and highly charged partnering. Not all the dancing was so sharp and such a bang-up-to-date piece surely deserves a better title than an old-hat word such as Madcap, but it’s an exciting addition to the company’s repertoire. Peter Todd’s costumes are rather stylish too, particularly for the men.

The night’s other World Premiere, Alston’s Darknesse Visible was a more sober affair. Set to Thomas Adès’ variation of a John Dowland lute song it failed to set the world on fire but Pierre Tappon’s introspective flexes and balances held the attention amidst Zeynep Kepekli’s minimal lighting.

Of the night’s other two works, the revival of 2004’s Shimmer, complete with Julien Macdonald’s beautiful webbed costumes and a freshly-choreographed final movement of Ravel’s Sonatine, didn’t quite break free of earth-bound shackles while Isthmus was a happy little ding-dong of a number that was too short to imprint much on the memory.

At Home runs at The Place until Saturday 6 October 2012 and then across the UK. The tour concludes in the United States in December 2012 in New Jersey.

Gerard Davis

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