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miliosr

Richard Alston's An Italian in Madrid

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I hope you get the chance to see it live sometime. Really fine performances from the kathak dancer Vidya Patel and a very courtly Liam Riddick.

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I hope you get the chance to see it live sometime. Really fine performances from the kathak dancer Vidya Patel and a very courtly Liam Riddick.

Thank you for your feedback. The merger of Indian classicism with contemporary dance is intriguing enough. But what really sells it for me is that the dance is based on Domenico Scarlatti's musical relationship with the Portugese princess Maria Barbara, who would become the Queen of Spain. That's certainly a refreshing change of subject matter for contemporary dance!

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I saw An Italian in Madrid yesterday, along with other Alston pieces Mazur and Chacony, and a Martin Lawrance piece called Stronghold. At the Alexander Kasser Theater in Montclair, NJ. This is the second time I've seen Alston in Montclair, the first time being about two years ago. This is a small, modern, comfortable theatre with a great series of music, dance, and theatre performances, and they make it very accessible for the Manhattan-centric by running a direct bus from Port Authority on weekends. I have really enjoyed my visits there (and plan to attend the upcoming string music festival). As for Richard Alston, I enjoyed all three of his pieces and especially An Italian in Madrid. Inventive and engaging; thoughtful and coherent. Dynamic and varied, with sweeping ensemble work and intimate interactions. The costumes were wonderful (and were especially on my mind because of a dismal new production I saw elsewhere the night before.) They were attractive to look at, dignified and flattered the dancers, were entirely danceable, and expressed a legible concept related to the piece. I would love to see it again. I also enjoyed Chacony for similar reasons. Mazur was a little more lightweight, but I'd welcome seeing it again too. The only piece I didn't enjoy was the non-Alston piece, Stronghold. However, my partner liked it and thought it might be more subtle with live music. (The Alston pieces all had live music.) Overall, a very winning afternoon. 

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I saw An Italian in Madrid (with Chacony and Tangent (Lawrence)) last night at The Lowry in Salford.  I thought it was absolutely exquisite.  I liked the melding of Kathak and contemporary for the Princess and thought it highlighted the cultural differences between the Princess and the Prince in their beautiful duet.

 

I also very much enjoyed the other 2 pieces.  Altogether it was a blissful evening.

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Thanks so much for the reports -- Alston doesn't get to the upper left hand corner very often so I don't know that I'll get a chance at this.  One of the most intriguing performances I've seen was a combination of Kathak and flamenco -- the two dance practices share a common ancestor, and it was fascinating to see how that was expressed in their different styles. 

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