On Sunday, I took the bus out to Montclair (New Jersey) to see the Richard Alston Dance company perform Roughcut, Unfinished Business, and A Ceremony of Carols. In this heartbreaking week in which chaos and violence seem to have taken over our world, Alston’s dances were like a tonic, cool and crisp, overflowing with lucidity. Though I find Alston’s work less compelling, than, say, Mark Morris’s or Paul Taylor’s (to mention two choreographers working in a related vein), I admire its construction and intelligence greatly. Here is my review, for DanceTabs.
And a short excerpt:
“It’s remarkable how satisfying the old-fashioned virtues of structure and form can be. Richard Alston…is a master builder; he creates islands of order in a chaotic world. (He’s not alone in this, of course, but it is an increasingly rare breed.) Alston is not reinventing the wheel or re-shaping our idea of what the body can do. Even more than Mark Morris or Paul Taylor, he uses and re-uses recognizable steps, many of which can be traced back to a simplified, de-historicized balletic vocabulary.”