Richard Alston: Final Edition – Theatre Royal Bath REVIEW

Set to close in April of this year, the Richard Alston Dance Company (RADC) is reaching 25 years of service to contemporary dance. Due to funding alterations from the Arts Council of England, the company is forced to close. Going forward, the Arts Council’s focus will be on supporting younger artists, making this performance by the RADC at the Theatre Royal in Bath all the more significant. It’s the final edition. It’s the curtain call for RADC. 

Alston’s new Voices and Light Footsteps opened the evening, welcoming us onto the stark stage filled with layers of light. This piece brimmed with fluidity and control. Classical lines mixed with contemporary elements captured the audience, keeping them so quiet you could hear the pitter-patter of bare feet dancing about the stage. 

It was in the piece that Nahum Mclean caught my eye. His lines were clean and precise and he didn’t put a foot wrong. All the dancers were strong but he stood out for me. A duet that also stood out for me was the delicate Ellen Yilma and strong Joshua Harriette who made the perfect pair. 

Shine On brought us live music from opera singer Katherine McIndoe and pianist Jason Ridgway. I felt out of the four pieces of the night that this one lacked direction and felt a little more unclear. It did grow on me though. I particularly enjoyed the same sex duets which changed the dynamics of the piece.

A Far Cry was my favourite of the night. Powerful and punchy, this piece was fast paced and pushed the dancers athleticism to the limits. It was particularly mesmerising due to the impressive nature of the choreography which never let up. 

The night ended with Brahms Hungarian, set to the hugely popular Brahms pieces played by pianist Jason Ridgway. Featuring a flirtatious nature and gypsy influence, the piece began with a series of duets which then merged into some enjoyable ensemble work. Monique Jonas took centre stage for this and drew my eye with ease. 

The Bath audience bid farewell to the company with a rapturous applause and standing ovation. It is such a shame that the company has to close but they have certainly gone out with a bang. 

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