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Richard Alston Dance to close

Richard Alston Dance, for decades one of the most influential contemporary companies, is to close.

Alston, who is 70, has been creating dances for 50 years, and his company has been resident The Place, a leading contemporary dance venue in London, for 24 years.

The company will close after its final tour in 2019-20, which will include a programme at The Place celebrating 25 years there.

“The Place has been my home for almost fifty years and I am nothing but grateful for the invaluable support and encouragement I have received over that time” Alston said. “Now change is very much in the air and inevitably it is the turn of others – I accept that. The Place must embrace change if it is to thrive and I wish these younger artists well. Now I have to try and find new opportunities to make dance because I am not ready to stop. I still have dances in me and I feel strongly that mature artists are an important part of the dance ecology. There are not many of us.”

And The Place’s chief executive, Claire O’Connor, said: “Richard has been a part of The Place since the very beginning - he was one of the first students of London Contemporary Dance School under the leadership of Robin Howard and Robert Cohan, our Founders.

“Like all great leaders, Richard Alston is a lifelong learner and our link to that tradition of innovation and pioneering in contemporary dance. His utter devotion to his craft, dancers and the artist’s voice permeate through everything we strive to do. Richard is part of the DNA of The Place and will remain a major influence for the next generation of artists who will undoubtedly follow his exemplary passion and workmanship.”

Alaston has created  dances for many other companies, included Rambert, New York Theatre Ballet and the Royal Ballet as well as more than 20 for his own company. He was made a CBE in 2001.

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