Two Thirds Sky & The Richard Alston Dance Company

Alston Inspired 2019

Alston Inspired 2019 saw Northamptonshire-based Two Thirds Sky and the acclaimed Richard Alston Dance Company collaborating for a second time, to celebrate RADC’s final performance at Royal & Derngate in Northampton. RADC have performed at the Derngate consistently over their twenty-five years of touring, and this project marked both the impact and legacy of the company’s work on artists and young dancers in the East and East Midlands.

As part of this project, RADC and TTS delivered an “Alston Inspired Master Class” open to young people from across the Northants and Beds area. This daylong event allowed experienced young dancers to extend their understanding of Alston’s approach to technique, and offer a once-in-a-life time opportunity to meet the artist that many of them study at school. The Masterclass was delivered by a combination of Two Thirds Sky and Richard Alston Dance Company professionals, alongside Richard Alston himself. From this Master Class, 24 young people were invited to participate in a creative residency during the summer break; to create a new work to prelude RADC's performance at the Royal & Derngate.


The piece was performed at the Royal & Derngate on October 1st and 2nd 2019 as part of “Richard Alston Dance Company: Final Edition”…


This piece brings together twenty-four aspiring young dancers from across Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire. It has been created as part of the Alston Inspired 2019 project, initiated by RADC’s acclaimed education programme, Essential Alston, and directed by regional company Two Thirds Sky. Overseen by Richard, the process has developed the young dancers’ skills in performance, and specifically moving as a collective. Thematically the piece has drawn upon the phenomenon of starlings flocking, (or murmuration), and is set to the music of Zoë Keating, which reflects a similar idea in sound.

The group of young dancers worked intensively during the summer period with Laura Gibson (Two Thirds Sky/ Essential Alston), Ihsaan De Banya (long standing artist/performer with RADC) and Lisa Risdale (Two Thirds Sky AD) to generate the new piece.

The Alston Inspired 2019 project has had the privilege of partnering with Creative Learning at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton; who champion youth and community access to live performance, and Northampton School for Boys; through their outstanding dance department.


Choreography: Ihsaan De Banya, Laura Gibson, Lisa Spackman

Music: Zoë Keating Flying and Flocking (2010)

Lighting: Gareth Risdale

Artistic Director RADC: Richard Alston

Alston Inspired Performers:

Abi Rushton, Aisha Glasgow, Amy Graham, Amy Miller, Angelo Zabala, Bethan Hacking, Cole Dilley, Daria Souster, Edwin Cheng, Ella Redding, Elsie Ward, Emily Sloan, Eve Sale, Helena Nicolaides, Isabel Frampton, Kitty Davison, Megan Swales, Millie Bird, Shannon Lewinton, Tegan Lewinton, Will Stock, Ziki Buswell, Jasmine Holliman, Katherine Sarney

Alston Inspired 2019 Team:

Project director: Lisa Risdale

Essential Alston: Katie Vernon-Smith

Creative Learning Royal and Derngate: Trudy Bell

You can find out more about the previous Alston Inspired 2017 project here…

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