Waltzes in Disorder (1998)

Created for
Richard Alston Dance Company
Liebeslieder Waltzer (Opus 52)
Charles Balfour
Jeanne Spaziani
Waltzes in Disorder (1998) features a bird figure, created for dancer Martin Lawrance.  The bird is repeatedly mentioned in the lyrics and is a symbol of freedom from restriction and is.
Much of the piece is danced in pairs, reflecting the waltz as a social dance. When the bird figure enters, he is seen as disruptive and unconventional. His movements are often light and sprightly, travelling across the stage with many different leaps. It is this figure that causes the disorder in the piece as he disrupts the couples throughout, succeeding in dancing the final duet with a man.
Alston avoids the traditional ¾ waltz step almost completely throughout the dance which subtly contrasts with the lyrical swing of the songs.
Speaking briefly about creating Waltzes in Disorder Richard Alston said:
“This piece was commissioned by Dance Umbrella in 1998 and was premiered for my 50th Birthday Celebration Performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 30th November 1998. It is danced to Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzer, a musical setting of poems from a collection called Polydora with lyrics from Russia, Poland and Hungary. Brahms composed this set of 18 waltzes in 1869, drawing on folk songs and lyrics concerning love."

Media & Resources


Waltzes in Disorder Resource Sheet (PDF 95Kb)