Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2

Examine the key choreographic developments of Richard Alston from 1966-1987.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Examine the key choreographic developments of Richard Alston from 1966-1987 Richard Alston (1948) started to study at Croydon College of arts in 1965 till 1967 studying fine arts and theatre design. His knowledge and interest in the artist and designer Robert Raushenberg encourages him to see Merce Cunningham Dance Company to perform. When visiting London he also saw Martha Graham Dance Company in 1967. In 1967 he was inspired by dance and started to take ballet lessons and in 1967 went to London School of Contemporary Dance, as one of the first fall time students. From 1967 to 1970 he studied Graham's modern dance technique, ballet, tai chi, Cunningham technique and historical dance. Influences of historical dance are present in Pulcinella in the third scene when partner work is present. He also found that he was more in tune with Cunningham technique and the style of movement, this was also a time when the art world was undergoing a period of upheaval. Old conventions and modernism were challenged by new experimental forms, which favoured fragmenting the dance, juxtaposing ideas to make college of different meanings and engaging the intellect of spectators.

Middle

Most strongly influenced by Cunningham technique and vocabulary and was interested in exploring abstract, movement based themes. Headlong (1973) was a 'quartet of tightly packed movement. The contentious work Tiger Balm (1972) is a dance of tensions, of energy poised and then released. Between 1973-1974 Strider visited Dartington College of Arts where Alston met Mary Fulkerson. She introduced him to contact and release techniques, developed from the American post-modern dance movement. Alston spoke of his time as a 'sorting out period'. Strider ended in 1975. Alston went to New York, which was his big turning point in his career, to study at the Cunningham studios. He also took ballet classes with Alfred Corvino. Alston saw many dance styles including George Balanchines New York City Ballet, many Fred Astaire films, and post-modern work by artists such as Trisha Brown, Twyla Tharp, Lucinda Childs, Sara Rudner and Douglas Dunn. He gave a programme of his own work, UnAmerican Activities (1976) at the Cunningham Studios and continued his connection with Siobhan Davies, who performed in his piece.

Conclusion

He changed the name of the company Rambert Dance Company to reflect the style of work being performed in the repertory. He also continued freelance work for ballet companies where his interests in ballet's allegro consolidated (fast, intricate footwork and elevations) and ballon (a light, buoyant quality associated with jumping) including Danse fra pagodernes Rige (1982) for the Royal Danish Ballet and Midsummer (1983) for the Royal Ballet. Eventually, economic recession hit ticket sales for contemporary dance, this style was thought to be too difficult and not broad or popular enough for audiences appeal. In conclusion Alston infused mainstream dance with methods that were once very experimental. In addition to his work with designers, Alston influenced the development of many choreographers. Alston is quite clear that he considers that contemporary dance has as much to contribute to our culture as the other arts, and has worked throughout his career to support it with those arts which are taken more seriously in the public domain, for example, visual arts, music and theatre. The addition of Merce Cunningham's technique in Alston's training and its influences on his choreography helped this style become more established and popular in the UK. Claire Shepley

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

Related AS and A Level Music

  1. The perfect partner.

    Sheer beauty and captivation is essential. As for her hair, I simply have no preference whatsoever. She could have blue hair with pink twinkies, red hair with green glitter or just... brown. My only request is that she takes pride in herself.

  2. Performing Arts

    Dance we had originally thought of dancing with the stimulus of cultural diversity but because our piece started with us lying down on the floor in the shape of a flower we felt it made more sense to do spring.

  1. Dance as Popular Culture.

    Although dance was so promoted on television, choreographer Bob Fosse still kept the Broadway scene alive. In the sixties the jazz style most popular today was just being coalesced. The seventies style of dance was influenced by acrobatic street style dancing which created the disco style, seen in the film Saturday Night Fever.

  2. Free essay

    Changes and Developments In Te Use Of Tonality In Musicals From Showboat to Sondheim

    note of this chord, F#, which only disappears in the very last bar of the piece, which creates a "last minute release of tension" at the end of the musical, relating to the two rival gangs resolving their differences. Other forms of general dissonance are also used by Bernstein in

  1. Expressive Arts Dance

    An example of high height is at the beginning when you move and lock the arms. An example of low height is the last move when the head is on the floor with the leg outstretched. An example of medium height is when you do the knee lunge and twist because you are neither in a high nor low position.

  2. Performance studies - The Language of Performing Arts .

    Two group members would move across upstage, while another two would travel across in an opposite direction downstage to show the changing in the waves. As the storm arrived our slow movements intensified. We used a stronger dynamic to show a build up in the waves.

  1. Twentieth-Century Ballet Music

    He moved to St Petersburg to study for six years at the university, and on graduating in 1895, "it was not as the composer or singer he had hoped to be. In a letter to his stepmother, he wrote: "I am someone afflicted, it seems, with complete absence of talent.

  2. Save the Last Dance: A Critical Turning Point in the lives of Sara, Malakai ...

    He just needs to try harder and do the right thing. Tension is created in this scene when Malakai pushes Derek. It is also created when Derek has to make a choice between going with Malakai to cause danger or to get to Sara's audition.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.