One cannot talk of the contemporary dance scene without referring to Akram Khan, a performer who was born and bred in Great Britain but whose roots lie in Bangladesh. Few artists exemplify how East and West both contaminate and enrich each other, the way he does. Used to working with artists from the most diverse cultures, he practises a style of dance that takes its inspiration from both kathak, one of the classical dance forms of northern India, and from contemporary dance. This same blend is once again present in a choreography that not only becomes a point of connection between East and West, but also between past and present, technology and myth. The show’s protagonist is one of more than four million colonial soldiers, many of them farmers from India, who were mobilised to fight for the British Empire in the First World War and who left behind their families and their cultures to become immersed in a sea of death and destruction. This soldier is an Indian dancer whose well-trained body becomes a weapon of war in the trenches. Under conditions in which humans behave as though they were gods on Earth, what does being human mean? Are we still human?
The Barcelona Grec Festival is co-producing the latest creation by Akram Khan, who has announced that he will not be starring in a choreographic solo again. Here, he is accompanied on stage by a team of five musicians – percussionist B C Manjunath, vocalist Aditya Prakash, bass player Nina Harries, violinist Andrew Maddick, and saxophonist Tamar Osborn – who will be performing live a music score composed by Vincenzo Lamagna.
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Co-produced by 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, Tanz Köln, 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 Festival (Hampshire) and Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens (OCC).
Director & Choreographer: Akram Khan Set Designer: Mirella Weingarten Lighting Designer: Michael Hulls Costume Designer: Kimie Nakano Original Music Score and Sound Design: Vincenzo Lamagna Dramaturgy: Ruth Little Writer: Jordan Tannahill Rehearsal Director: Mavin Khoo
Performer: 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 Technical Co-ordinator: Peter Swikker Stage Manager: Marek Pomock Lighting Engineer: Stéphane Déjours Sound Engineer: Julien Deloison Technician: Russell Parker Tour Manager: Mashitah Omar Props made by: Louise Edge from LFX props & special fx Photography Jean Louis Fernandez / Nicol Vizioli
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