Richard Alston is premiering his latest internationally-flavoured piece An Italian in Madrid at Sadler’s Wells later this month. Taking his musical cues from Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti’s Spanish-inspired sonatas (hence the title of the piece), it will be performed alongside his 2015 work Mazur on 29 and 30 March.
Alston has asked Vidya Patel to dance with his Richard Alston Dance Company for the premiere. Patel is a BBC Young Dancer grand finalist from 2015, and a specialist in the classical Indian dance form Kathak, which, Alston says, has many similarities to Spanish flamenco. The piece explores how different art forms and cultures are altered, absorbed and inspired by one another, leading to a truly global work.
The Scarlatti sonatas will be played live by Alston’s regular collaborator Jason Ridgway, who will also play Chopin’s Mazurkas for Mazur. Dancers Liam Riddick and Nicholas Bodych will perform Mazur, which explores themes of friendship, love and loss.
Now in his sixth decade as a choreographer, Alston has created around 50 dance works during his career. He founded the Richard Alston Dance Company in 1994, led Rambert from 1986 until 1992 and has created pieces for Scottish Ballet, Royal Ballet and New York Theatre Ballet.
Also in the programme is a London premier of Martin Lawrance’s Stronghold, with a score by Pulitzer Prize Winner Julia Wolfe. Completing the bill is Alston’s Brisk Singing, set to music from Jean Phillippe Rameau’s opera Les Boréades.