CULTURE

Influential choreographer Richard Alston in Greece

A unique combination of contemporary dance, visual entertainment and music comes to Greece this week as the British Council presents the Richard Alston Dance Troupe in Athens and Thessaloniki. When Richard Alston is inspired, there is no dance-maker in Britain to touch him; very few in the world, raves The Dancing Times. The Richard Alston Dance Troupe will perform this Sunday at the National Opera’s stage at the Olympia Theater, while next Wednesday, October 24, it travels to Thessaloniki to the Theater of Macedonian Studies where it will perform in collaboration with the Demetria Festival. A prominent and popular troupe of contemporary dance and one of the most popular in Britain, Richard Alston founded the company in 1994, establishing the troupe at The Place theater in London. Today the troupe has 16 dancers which makes it one of the largest troupes on the independent dance scene. An influential choreographer, Alston was one of the first students to attend the London School of Contemporary Dance; he followed this with a stint at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio in New York. Fresh from his studies, Alston founded Britain’s first independent dance company, Strider, in 1972, while in 1980 he began a long-term collaboration with the Rambert Dance Company as a choreographer. From 1986 to 1992 he was the Rambert’s artistic director. Then in 1994 he was nominated artistic director of The Place. For the Greek performances, the troupe’s program includes Strange Company, a work inspired by Schumann’s Carnival in Vienna; Lachrymae, a piece inspired by the Benjamin Britten work for viola which is a study on sorrow and desperation leading to comfort and tenderness; while the evenings will come to a conclusion with Water Music, a work inspired by Handel. We hope that this will help our young friends not only learn to appreciate opera as an art, but also to become interested in getting involved in opera on a professional basis.