Richard Alston Dance Company to close in 2020

Brahms Hungarian 2 Monique Jonas, Elly Braund, Melissa Braithwaite, Ellen Yilma Photo by Chris Nash

Richard Alston Dance Company has announced today that its final tour will take place in 2019-2020. Richard Alston has been creating the dance for over 50 years and his company has been resident at The Place for the past 24 years. In that time, Alston has played a major role in the world of contemporary dance, developing a unique and distinct dance language and shaping the art form in this country.

The company’s current tour runs until spring 2019 including two nights at Sadler’s Wells. It will tour in autumn 2019 including a special ‘At Home’ programme at The Place in celebration of the company’s 25 years of work and its home’s 50thanniversary. The company will tour for the last time in spring 2020 including a final Sadler’s Wells season.

In addition to the training and development of outstanding dance artists and pioneering makers, The Place will continue its commitment to new work and this includes touring and producing the next generation of successful young artists so that they too can benefit from the expertise and investment of the organisation.

Richard Alston Dance Company launched in November 1994 at The Place. It is one of the UK’s leading choreographer-led companies, for which its founder Artistic Director Richard Alston has created over 45 dance-works. Richard Alston is also Artistic Director of The Place, London’s leading centre for contemporary dance, where the company is based.  Richard Alston Dance Company focuses on Alston’s new choreography but combines this with the re-creation of seminal past works from Alston’s career. Music plays a vital part in the company’s identity and since its inception, Alston has made work to the music of a diverse range of composers.

Brahms Hungarian1 Elly Braund & Nicholas Shikkis Photo by Chris Nash
Brahms Hungarian1 Elly Braund & Nicholas Shikkis Photo by Chris Nash

Statement from Richard Alston, director of Richard Alston Dance Company
“The Place has been my home for almost fifty years and I am nothing but grateful for the invaluable support and encouragement I have received over that time. Now change is very much in the air and inevitably it is the turn of others – I accept that. The Place must embrace change if it is to thrive and I wish these younger artists well. Now I have to try and find new opportunities to make dance because I am not ready to stop. I still have dances in me and I feel strongly that mature artists are an important part of the dance ecology. There are not many of us!”

Statement from Claire Connor, Chief Executive, The Place
“Richard has been a part of The Place since the very beginning – he was one of the first students of London Contemporary Dance School under the leadership of Robin Howard and Robert Cohan, our Founders. Like all great leaders, Richard Alston is a lifelong learner and our link to that tradition of innovation and pioneering in contemporary dance. His utter devotion to his craft, dancers and the artist’s voice permeate through everything we strive to do. Richard is part of the DNA of The Place and will remain a major influence for the next generation of artists who will undoubtedly follow his exemplary passion and workmanship”