Dance review: Richard Alston Dance Company

An Italian in Madrid, by Richard Alston Dance Company

An Italian in Madrid, by Richard Alston Dance Company

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Watching Martin Lawrance’s new work, Tangent is akin to a stray red sock finding its way into your white wash. The piece, which received its world premiere in Edinburgh last week, brings together Argentine Tango and the Alston company’s trademark contemporary dance. But rather than one style fighting for dominance over the other, it’s as if Lawrance threw his contemporary vocabulary into the washing machine with Tango tucked firmly in its pocket.

The result is a glorious new shade of dance, performed by four couples who are hot with passion one minute, mildly combative the next. Legs flick and twist, as if in a Buenos Aires dance hall, then graceful lifts take flight hinting at the ups and downs of any relationship. But the loving cuddle each couple adopts as the curtain falls says it all.

Richard Alston Dance Company ****

Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Elsewhere in this rich four-part programme, Richard Alston’s An Italian in Madrid grew and grew before our eyes. Inspired by the real life story of Domenico Scarlatti, the piece follows the Italian composer as he journeys to Lisbon to teach Princess Maria Barbara.

From there, they travel to Madrid where Scarlatti wrote the sonatas which accompany Alston’s choreography, played live by Jason Ridgway – whose dexterous fingers are like another dancer on stage.

Starting with a lively duet in Naples, the space expands to receive nine more dancers, including wonderful guest dancer, Vidya Patel. A finalist in the BBC Young Dancer competition, Patel injects the piece with her own exquisite, fast-paced Kathak leading to another sumptuous blurring of styles.

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