Scarlatti showed me how to step into other dance cultures

Choreographer Richard Alston’s newest work celebrates the music of Domenico Scarlatti and the global influences that made his music so daringly innovative

Some people think that I’m hopelessly old-fashioned because I still choreograph to music. Well, so be it. I feel deeply that the instinct to move to music is ancient and so basic that it goes way beyond any recent short-term fashions. Exploring this magical link, trying to bring it into sharper focus, has been central to my choreography for over 40 years now, and it still teaches me new things.

Music is a fundamental expression of humanity and so is dance. Both can be the strong manifestation of the spirit of a community. The way different countries and cultures connect and cross-fertilise has in particular fascinated me. Two recent dance pieces, Gypsy Mixture and last year’s Nomadic were inspired by the haunting singing of Romanian Gypsies and by the way these songs reached listeners worldwide by being combined with techno and hip-hop elements. To me this mesmerising clash of old and new worlds, inspired by the wanderings of travelling people and the ragbag way they pick up new things, creates a powerful new hybrid.

Related: Are they human or dancer? Richard Alston’s move machines – in pictures

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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