Step in time: how to save the legacy of dance from being lost in history

While Richard Alston’s company hang up their dance shoes, archivists and choreographers are grasping at ways to immortalise an inherently slippery art form

End of an era … Richard Alston’s Voices and Light Footsteps. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/the Guardian

Earlier this month, Richard Alston’s dance company performed their final shows after more than 25 years. It was a celebratory occasion – and the end of an era. Alston will continue choreographing independently, but with his company he created a significant body of work, defining a lyrical, light-footed style of English contemporary dance. What happens to that work now? Since dance has no product to collect or put in galleries, how do you hold on to this ephemeral art form?

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