Akram Khan


21-27 FEB 2018
(no performance on 24 February)
Main Stage
1 hour and 10 minutes
Akram Khan in his much anticipated new opus, a solo that will mark his last performances as a dancer in a full-length production. Accompanied on stage by five musicians, he takes us on a journey into his enticing world: kathak, contemporary dance, rousing rhythms and world musical traditions. The world première of Akram Khan’s latest work here, at the OCC.
Early bird from 3 JAN to 21 JAN 2018: 21, 25 €

Full price: 7, 15, 25, 30, 36 €
Reduced, Friend & Groups 5-9 people: 12, 20, 24, 29 €
Groups 10+ people: 11, 18, 21, 25 €
Νeighbourhood residents: 7 €
People with disabilities & Unemployed: 5 € | Companions: 10 €

Group ticket reservations at groupsales@sgt.gr
The title XENOS means ‘stranger’ or ‘foreigner’. Akram and his world-class team of collaborators draw in this new solo work on the archives of the 20th century, unearthing the experience of colonial soldiers in the First World War.

Over 4 million non-white men were mobilised by the European and American armies during the conflict. Around 1.5 million of them were from India, mostly peasant-warriors from North and North-Western India, who fought and died in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In service to the myths of Empire, dislocated from their homelands and cultures, their stories have until recently remained in shadow.

As Akram himself writes: “I will investigate specific questions that confront me more and more every day, like a shadow constantly following me, haunting me, whispering to me… Do we need to tell other people’s stories in case they vanish? Who are the ‘other’ people? Are stories of human journeys told, retold, and told again, so we can eventually learn from our mistakes? Who are ‘we’, a collective or many individuals? What makes us human? Are we still human?”

Akram Khan’s movement language shifts between classical kathak and contemporary dance. XENOS takes place on the border between East and West, past and present, mythology and technology, where humanity still stands in wonder and disarray.

Akram has brought together a stellar creative team. Along with dramaturg Ruth Little and acclaimed Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill, he teams up with German designer Mirella Weingarten, award-winning lighting designer Michael Hulls, costume designer Kimie Nakano, and composer Vincenzo Lamagna. Akram will be joined onstage by five international musicians: percussionist B C Manjunath, vocalist Aditya Prakash, bass player Nina Harries, violinist Andrew Maddick, and saxophonist Tamar Osborn.


Director, Choreographer, Performer: Akram Khan
Set Designer: Mirella Weingarten
Lighting Designer: Michael Hulls
Costume Designer: Kimie Nakano
Original Music Score and Sound Design: Vincenzo Lamagna
Dramaturg: Ruth Little
Writer Jordan: Tannahill
Rehearsal Director: Mavin Khoo

Dancer: Akram Khan
Musicians: Nina Harries (double bass & vocals), Andrew Maddick (violin), B C Manjunath (percussions & konnakol), Tamar Osborn (baritone saxophone), Aditya Prakash (vocals)

Producer: Farooq Chaudhry
Associate Producer: Lindsey Dear
Technical Director: Richard Fagan
Production Manager: John Valente
Stage Manager: Marek Pomocki
Lighting Engineer: Stéphane Déjours
Sound Engineer: Julien Deloison
Technician: Russell Parker
Project/Tour Manager: Mashitah Omar
Props made by: Louise Edge from LFX props & special fx

The original music score was devised in collaboration with the musicians, and contains extracts from Requiem in D minor K. 626 (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire (traditional composition), Tu Karim (traditional composition), Chhap Tilak (Amir Khusro), Babul Mora (Nawab Wajid Ali Shah), Naiharwa (Kabir).
Commissioned by: 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary

Co-producers: Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, The Grange Festival Hampshire, Sadler’s Wells London, New Vision Arts Festival Hong Kong, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, National Arts Centre Ottawa, The 20th China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF), Centro Cultural de Belém, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Grec 2018 Festival de Barcelona, HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden, Edinburgh International Festival, Adelaide Festival, Festival Montpellier Danse 2018, Julidans Amsterdam, Canadian Stage Toronto, Romaeuropa Festival, Torinodanza festival / Teatro Stabile di Torino - Teatro Nazionale, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts New York, University of California Berkeley, Danse Danse Montreal, Curve Leicester.

Sponsored by: COLAS

Supported by: Arts Council England

Akram Khan is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells London and Curve Leicester.
Produced during residency at The Grange, Hampshire and Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens

Special thanks to: Katia Arfara & the OCC team, Michael Chance, Michael Moody, Nigel Hinds, Jenny Waldman, Sarah Goodfellow, Hervé Le Bouc, Delphine Lombard, Béatrice Abeille-Robin, Mr. & Mrs. Khan, Yuko Khan, Sayuri & Kenzo Khan, Dannii Evans, Zia Ali, Es Devlin, Zena Edwards, Tim Freke, Ronan Harrington, Daniel Hernandez, Amit Lahav, Jerome Lewis, Confucius MC, Vahakn Matossian, Camilla Power, Ella Saltmarshe, Murray Shanahan, Zahed Sultan, Temujen Gunawandera, Jess Balla, Chris Timpson, Paul Evans, Robin Leonard, Florian Stagliano. 

Akram Khan gratefully acknowledges Akram Khan Company staff team: Farooq Chaudhry, Jan Hart, Richard Fagan, Tina Fagan, Mashitah Omar, Clare Cody-Richardson, Céline Gaubert, Christine Maupetit, Amy Sharkey, Hannah Patel, Mai Saroh Tassinari, Nathan White, and all those who contributed to make the production successful.

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Friday 23 February
After performance talk with Akram Khan
Moderated by Giorgos Mitropoulos, journalist

Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today. In just over 17 years he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the arts in the UK and abroad.

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.
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. 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.

Jordan Tannahill is a Canadian playwright, author, and director based in London. He has been described in the press as ‘the hottest name in Canadian theatre’ (Montreal Gazette) and ‘the posterchild of a new generation for whom ‘interdisciplinary’ is not a buzzword but a way of life’ (The Globe and Mail). He won the Governor General’s Award for Drama in 2014 for Age of Minority and was shortlisted for the prize again in 2016 for Concord Floral.

His films and multimedia performances have been presented at various festivals and galleries such as the Toronto Int. Film Festival, the British Film Institute, and the Tribeca Film Festival. From 2012-2016 he and William Ellis ran the influential artspace Videofag out of their home in Kensington Market. His 2015 book Theatre of the Unimpressed sits on the curriculum of theatre programmes across North America and the UK and first novel, Liminal, is forthcoming from House of Anansi Press. Jordan is currently working on a commission for the National Theatre and the film adapation of his play Botticelli in the Fire with filmmaker Stephen Dunn. His play Late Company transferred from the Finborough Theatre to the West End in August 2017.

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