In the American premiere of the Richard Alston Dance Company at Montclair State’s Kasser Theatre, it was apparent that the dancers were striving for a memorable performance, and that is what they achieved. With four separate and engaging movements, the dancers created a world of their own in a moving tableau of serenity.
Each dancer seemed to exhume energy from within themself and from their fellow dancers as they moved with the perfect match of grace and power. Not only were the dancers impeccable, but their live accompaniment was a beauty within itself. With an onstage piano during some parts and a string quartet at others, the musicians and the dancers drew upon each other in a symbiotic relationship; neither competed for attention but instead served to emphasize and accentuate the purpose of one another.
The program consisted of pieces that felt open and participatory with group numbers, and others that seemed to give the audience a sense that they were intruding on private and tender moments through the duets and solos.
In a way, this performance stood out because it didn’t stand out. So many dance companies are trying to do something new and contemporary that, when you come across a dance company like this, it is rare and refreshing. Classics are classics for a reason and, in this performance, the classics got a refreshing new twist that kept the audience misty-eyed and excited for what was to come.