Friday, March 31, 2023

Richard Alston Dance Returns To Virginia Arts Festival On March 21

Sir Richard Alston is one of the world’s most acclaimed choreographers, but he still knows local talent when he sees it.

When his Company performed at the Virginia Arts Festival in 2017, he he conducted a master class with young dancers at the Governor’s School for the Arts. He was so impressed with them that he made them a part of his newest work.

On March 21, 20 of the Governor’s School dancers will appear on stage with Alston’s company in the world premiere of a new piece, Arrived.

Arrived was commissioned through the Virginia Arts Festival’s partnership with the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, marking the 400 years since events in Virginia that shaped America’s beginnings.

That same year, 1619, the Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi wrote his seventh book of Madrigals, and Alston chose the haunting music as the setting for this new work.

According to a release from Virginia Arts Festival, audience members can expect “to see the passing of the torch from a master of today to the dancers of tomorrow.”

In addition to the world premiere,  the Company will perform a slate of works never before performed in the United States.

Detour is an exciting piece by Associate Choreographer Martin Lawrance that features dancers charging around to the driving rhythms of Michael Gordon.  

Proverb is a flowing dance to the mesmerizing vocal music of Steve Reich.

Brahms Hungarian is a rollicking closer full of intricate steps done with a Gypsy panache to be played live by pianist Jason Ridgway.

Sir Richard Alston is a major figure on the British dance scene. He made his first dance 50 years ago and has been choreographing prolifically ever since. 

In 1994 Alston became Artistic Director of The Place and formed Richard Alston Dance Company. Over the past 19 years he has made over 45 dances for this company. 

Earlier this year, he was awarded a knighthood by Her Majesty the Queen for Services to Dance.

Tickets for this performance can be purchased online at, by phone at 757-282-2822 or by visiting the Virginia Arts Festival box office located at 440 Bank Street in Norfolk between 10 AM and 5 PM, Monday-Friday. 

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