Richard Alston (choreographer)
Richard Alston CBE (born 30 October 1948) is a British choreographer. He has been resident choreographer and artistic director for the Ballet Rambert and is currently artistic director at The Place.
Life and career
Alston trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, and then choreographed for the London Contemporary Dance Theatre before forming the UK’s first independent dance company, Strider, in 1972. In 1976, he went to New York City to study at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio. In 1980 he was appointed resident choreographer with Ballet Rambert, serving as the company’s artistic director from 1986 to 1992. During that time he created 25 works for Rambert as well as the Royal Danish Ballet (1982), the Royal Ballet (1983), and two solo works for Michael Clark (Soda Lake and Dutiful Ducks). He returned to Rambert in 2001, creating Unrest for the company’s 70th anniversary.
In 1981 Alston's dance company, "Strider", had merged with choreographer Siobhan Davies' company "Siobhan Davies and Dancers", to form "Second Stride".
A revival of his Dangerous Liaisons (1985) was toured by Scottish Ballet in 2003. In 1994 Alston took up the post of artistic director at The Place and formed The Richard Alston Dance Company; since then he has made over 20 pieces for the company.
Alston was made an honorary Doctor of Philosophy (Dance) at the University of Surrey in 1992 and in 2003 he received an honorary MA from University College Chichester. In 1995 he was named Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his work in France. In January 2001 he was awarded the CBE.
Richard Alston Dance Company
Alston's own company was launched in 1994 to critical acclaim. In 2002 the BBC commissioned Alston to choreograph excerpts from The Rite of Spring for their Masterworks series, directed by Jonathan Haswell. In Autumn 2003, Martin Lawrance’s Grey Allegro was introduced into the repertoire – the first time another choreographer’s work has been performed by the company. In May 2004 the company made its New York debut with a week of performances at the Joyce Theater.
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- Official website The Place