This week Richard Alston’s company made a welcome return to the Playhouse, with a very stimulating triple bill, featuring two of his own works, and a new piece by choreographer (and former Alston dancer) Martin Lawrance.

Buzzing Round the Hunisuccle takes its title from the second of three pieces by the Japanese classical composer Jo Kondo to which the work is set. In the opening segment Kondo’s music has a slightly percussive, plonky, staccato quality, which sets the whole company off on a vigorous and eye-catching series of dances. Hunisuccle itself is a slow, thoughtful piece, with a long duet at its centre, followed by more high-speed “buzzing” to close the work.

Alston told me recently that he has been wary of using Mozart’s music, as it’s so perfect that people might want to just close their eyes and listen. Jason Ridgeway’s ravishing playing in Unfinished Business could bring this about, but keep your eyes open and you see a thing of wonder. The whole work flows beautifully, but the eight-minute andante, beautifully danced by Elly Braund and James Pett, is in a league of its own. This long duet features the couple in an intricately defined relationship. It may be love, but it has a troubled, elegiac, perhaps valedictory feel, rather than the rapture and excitement of people who have just come together. They already know each other’s bodies and their movement well, perhaps re-living moments shared in the past.

It is a beautiful work. Madcap, a new work by Martin Lawrence, lives up to its name. The rock-influenced music, by the American composer Julia Wolfe, is played by the Bang on a Can Allstars, and it drives the company on through a high-speed combination of ensembles, duets and solos, with a pale intruder periodically disturbing the festivities until the company finally get shot of him. Here we see that Lawrence has moved away from Alston’s choreographic influence, towards a style that is all his own.

There is a further performance tonight.

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