The Cholmondeleys & Richard Alston Dance Company, Dance Project

Review in Issue 12-3 | Autumn 2000

On paper, tonight’s performance promised much. The Richard Alston Dance Company, choreographed by Martin Lawrence, would perform to a specially commissioned work by Meltdown’s host Scott Walker, whilst The Cholmondeleys would dance to a new Orbital score. In the event it proved a very disappointing evening.

First up was Thimble Rigging by the Richard Alston Dance Company. The programme notes informed that in mediaeval times sufferers of psoriasis were commonly known as ‘the silver people’. It wasn’t entirely clear what this had to do with the performance, but as dance pieces about itchy skin complaints go, it was choreographed and executed competently.

Scott Walker is hardly the most prolific of composers and the opportunity to hear his new work had drawn a number of fans from their bedrooms. They were rewarded with a slightly clanking piece that failed to surprise anyone familiar with Walker’s Tilt, without ever hinting at any of that album’s greatness.

There then followed an interminable interval of some thirty-minutes before the QEH stage was ready for The Cholmondeleys. Although Orbital’s work is inextricably bound-up with the dance music scene, this marked their first foray into scoring for a dance work. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining the finished project, which resembled more a light show than a dance piece. The Cholmondeleys were dwarfed by a forest of light-beams and such choreography there was seemed incidental when not invisible. Not that this made the whole any less pleasing but it was impossible to escape the feeling that, despite the combination of talents featured, there was little here that could not have been part of Orbital’s usual live set.

Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-3
p. 24