February 14, 2012
As part of the British Dance edition 2012 (along with The Russell Maliphant Company's 'Rodin Project') Richard Alston Dance Company's performance Unfinished Business is already attracting a great deal of attention in the dance world - and as it's dance month, it's attracted our attention too.
Alston's piece is set to two movements of Mozart's unfinished piano sonata, Opus K533 - written at the end of the composer’s life and hurriedly sent off to publishers in a desperate attempt to raise some money. To the two movements, Alston has affixed Mozart's Gigue in D as a final movement as arranged by Federico Busoni.
In much the same way that Maliphant's Rodin Project interpreted the works of the famous French sculptor into contemporary dance, Alston's piece takes the work of another artist and transforms it into something unexpected and thoughtful. Though not as radical as taking a 19th Century sculptures into break dancing and body popping Unfinished Business is unpredictable and inventive in its own right. Combining upright, sharp classical British dance with the thoroughly modern use of space and shape; the innovative and in parts achingly romantic show is a joy to behold.
Another point of interest for those involved with entertainment at corporate events was the use of a live pianist as accompaniment for the performance; while many will be used to seeing ballet performed with a full orchestra - it's less common to see a contemporary dance show backed by a single musician but certainly something that can be recreated in the context of an event.