If you have any doubts about London Contemporary Dance School's influence on the contemporary dance industry, all you have to do is attend a LC3 performance and wait a year or two: past choreographers in recent years have included James Wilton and James Cousins. LC3 is a touring company of third-year students presenting a mixture of student choreography, commissioned works and repertoire - and only the very best of each. The current programme featured three works by students alongside a work by Rick Nodine and Richard Alston's most recent work, 'A Ceremony of Carols'.

Each of the student works were shockingly brief; the opening work, The Fallen by Chris Scott, seemed to end before it had decided on its direction. No sooner had the piece started than the five dancers started throwing each other around and manipulating each other physically. The choice of dim lighting and gladiatorial costumes did make the piece seem less original, while the dynamic physical style of choreography was too evocative of that of Joss Arnott and Charlie Dixon; it would be better for Scott to discover and explore his own voice.

2pm by Tom Peacock and Andrea Dorelli was the most surprising student work I've seen for a long time, a simple playful piece about two marionnette-like characters with jerky jiglike movements which were all the more effective due to their utterly deadpan faces. 2pm was very inventive and creative with plenty of hilarity and dramatic flair, not only showing Peacock and Dorelli as promising choreographers, but also as very vivid performers too.

The third student work was a solo by Michael Kelland called Opsimath, a piece which could have easily been significantly longer and still not long enough. Kelland performed a very fluid and sinuous solo, seamlessly fusing martial arts and acrobatics with contemporary dance, and slightly reminiscent of Russell Maliphant's award-winning Afterlight with Kelland turning and spinning on a darkened stage. Opsimath was very beautiful and also very unique; let's hope this is the start of a fruitful career for Kelland.

The final piece before the interval was Richard Alston's A Ceremony of Carols which was premiered last autumn. While it's undeniably rewarding for the students to learn a company's current repertoire rather than something from the archives, A Ceremony of Carols was perhaps not the most effective work to have chosen, considering the size of Rich Mix's stage and the large number of group sections in the work. Between Richard Alston Dance Company's tours and the recent retrospective of his works in last year's Dance Umbrella, there have been ample opportunities to see his works, and in particular his most impressive dancers Andres de Blust-Mommaerts, Liam Riddick, Nathan Johnson, Pierre Tappon and Nancy Nerantzi; it takes a graduate performance to make us realise how effortlessly Alston's dancers perform his works, and how easy they make it seem.

A Ceremony of Carols is a good piece for challenging dancers' technique, and while there were a number of challenging group sections, there were quite a few sections for fewer dancers, offering each of the dancers several opportunities to stand out. The standout performances were by the dancers who managed to achieve the necessary lightness and precision of movement, while it was easy to spot other dancers who wanted to dance with more vigour or passion. While Alston's style was clearly not suited to all, each of the twelve dancers gave heartfelt performances nonetheless.

Rick Nodine's Inner Orbit was the only piece in the second half of the evening, and easily the most successful work of the night. It started with fifteen dancers walking around the stage in a circle, with three darting into the centre to briefly strike some poses before rejoining the circle. As the circle progressed, differing numbers of dancers would move into the centre for different interactions: partnerwork, standoffs, confrontations. Each of these sections was very shortlived, never having the chance to develop too far, using very simple choreography such as dancers throwing themselves at each other.

Inner Orbit was a lighthearted and joyful piece, not as technically challenging as Alston, which perhaps added to its appeal and freshness. Even with lots of activity taking place onstage, it never overwhelmed the space in the same way that its predecessor did. And, hey, you've got to love a work which uses the theme music from Matthew Bourne's Dorian Gray!

There was an impromptu postshow Q&A, and it was very impressive to see how maturely and eloquently the students answered the audience's questions, including fielding one question which assumed that the students all aspire to end up on Strictly Come Dancing! It was very reassuring to hear the students realistically discuss their future plans and how they perceive the arts funding crisis as a challenge and opportunity, and not the insurmountable obstacle it is to so many others. Let's hope for bright futures for all of them.