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Northampton School for Boys

Northampton School for Boys

NSB Dancers perform the Curtain-Raiser for Richard Alston Dance Company 2018

Back in July this year, our NSB dancers represented the East Midlands at U.Dance 2018 National Youth Dance Festival. Richard Alston is an ambassador for youth dance and attends the National Festival each year. This year he observed the technical runs for the myriad of youth dance companies performing at U.Dance. It was in the NSB technical rehearsal that Richard asked us if we would like to be the curtain-raiser act for his company tour to Northampton. Our response was, without doubt, yes!

Richard Alston has been making dance for 50 years. To celebrate his half-century he created his 2018 tour programme full of his trademark lyrical choreography performed by undoubtedly one of the world’s best dance ensembles. To be the curtain-raiser for the company was indeed an honour. Our dancers were lucky enough to observe RADC in their technical runs, which allowed them the opportunity to watch how a professional choreographer works and how the dancers respond. Alston is part of the A-Level Dance specification, so for our older dancers it was an amazing opportunity to learn about his choreographic approaches and his movement style. 

Richard and his dancers were warm and welcoming towards our students, making them feel part of the company. Richard observed our technical runs and was forthcoming in offering advice to our young dancers, along with delivering wonderful accolades in testament to their level of conduct and professionalism. At this point I would like to say a huge thank you to Henri Berry, Ben Mineards and Angus Simpson for stepping in to replace three of our Year 12 dancers who were away in Bude on a school trip. The three boys rehearsed for six hours in total. To learn a new dance to performance standard in that time is no mean feat! They did a superb job. 

Our dancers performed ‘Lost Child’, a dance based on the concept of Peter Pan and never wanting to grow up. Exploring how childhood is snatched away from us, all too quickly, and how the ever looming presence of adulthood is always just around the corner. The children don’t want to face the reality and struggles of being an adult; but inevitably they have to grow up. The experience was one that we will never forget. Performing both nights at The Royal and Derngate Theatre exposed the students to different audiences and they gained great feedback for their work. What was particularly lovely was the support from some of our staff and families from NSB. Thank you to all who attended! We also received feedback from members of the audience who were not directly connected to NSB, which was a wonderful surprise and especially lovely to receive.

A wonderful moment in time.

The dancers were:
Ben Mineards, Henri Berry, Angus Simpson, Kit Ibbott, Elise Clinton, Charlie Goddard, Silvio Dzapasi and Gio Bordone. 

Alison Clinton
Head of Dance


Northampton School for Boys, Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5RT
01604 230240