Where did they go wrong? London Contemporary Dance Theatre will be hanging up their crepe bandages for the last time this Saturday after a three-night farewell at Sadler's Wells Theatre. The story begins in 1954 when the businessman Robin Howard met the remarkable American dancer Martha Graham. Ten years later he began pumping money into British contemporary dance; first founding the London Contemporary Dance School which would promote Graham's pelvis-centred technique, and then a company to showcase the talents it had polished.

LCDT was always renowned for its audience-friendly programmes of high-quality modern dance. Its eclectic repertoire has included international choreographers such as Paul Taylor and Robert North and home-grown stars such as Siobhan Davies, Aletta Collins and Darshan Singh Bhuller. The farewell beano at Sadler's Wells features two works by the Israeli choreographers Liat Dror and Nir Ben Gal: Two Room Apartment and the popular ensemble romp Rikud. The evening also contains two works by Amanda Miller: St Nick and My Father's Vertigo (pictured right) danced to music by Fred Frith.

Why did LCDT have to die? The Arts Council, rather than spread its funding too thin, settled on Rambert Dance Company as the future of mainstream contemporary dance. The happy ending to this very sad story is that a new, slightly smaller company is set to emerge from LCDT's ashes called, grippingly, The Richard Alston Dance Company. The new touring company of nine dancers will start work at The Place this October. 'LCDT's dancers were too good to waste,' says Alston.

'St Nick', 'My Father's Vertigo', 'Two Room Apartment' and 'Rikud': 7.30pm 16-18 Jun, Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Ave, EC1 (071-278 8916) pounds 5-pounds 16, nearest tube Angel

(Photograph omitted)

Comments