Akram Khan


21-27 FEB 2018
Main Stage
Accompanied on stage by five musicians, Akram Khan takes us on a journey into his enticing world: kathak, contemporary dance, rousing rhythms and world musical traditions.
Authentic and innovative, with a style that incorporates Indian kathak while simultaneously contrasting it with contemporary dance, Akram Khan, the celebrated dancer and choreographer, has amassed a major body of work over 17 years spent performing on stages around the world. With his virtuosic, alluring, multicultural dance, he has the talent to keep his audience transfixed wherever he finds himself.

Rooted in an ancient culture he was taught from early childhood but representative, too, of a generation of immigrants who were called upon to espouse the Westernness of the country in which they grew up without forgetting where they had come from, Akram Khan helped shape a new British cultural scene in the 1990s and 2000s. From his earliest works on, the music—through his collaboration with Nitin Sawhney, and the stage set/artwork—through his association with celebrated sculptors like Anish Kapoor, have shared the spotlight with his dance. He sometimes appears alone and sometimes shares the stage with artists from other dance idioms, as he did with the famed Flamenco artist Israel Galván (we recently enjoyed the duo at the OCC) and the renowned classical performer, Sylvie Guillem.

In his latest work, whose title is—and chance had no role to play in his choice—the Greek word ‘XENOS’ [stranger/Other], he will be dancing alone but accompanied on stage by five distinguished musicians. The world première of Akram Khan’s latest work at the OCC will be an event of international significance and the culmination of many years of successful collaboration between the artist and the Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens.

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Friday 23 February
After performance talk with Akram Khan

He was born in Wimbledon, London, but his family is from Dhaka in Bangladesh. At the age of seven, he started to study the classical form of kathak, the South Asian dance, under Sri Pratap Pawar, who would later become his mentor.
At the age of 13, he took part in Peter Brook’s Shakespeare Company production of Mahabharata, with which he toured the world between 1987 and 1989. He also appeared in the televised version broadcast in 1988.
His segment of the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics would prove to be another high point in his career, garnering unanimous praise from the public and critics alike.
He has won the Laurence Olivier award, a Bessie Award, the coveted International Society for the Performing Arts Distinguished Artist Award, and a number of other distinctions. He is an Associate Artist at both London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Curve in Leicester.
He has collaborated inter alia with the actress Juliette Binoche, the ballerina Sylvie Guillem, the dancers and choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Israel Galván, the singer Kylie Minogue, the artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, the author Hanif Kureishi, and the composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost.
This will be Akram Khan’s third appearance at the OCC. He has also performed at the Athens Festival and the Kalamata International Dance Festival.

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