Akram Khan is one of the most sought-after awards-winning British choreographers leading the international contemporary dance circle today. Marked by a distinct style borne of his roots in both Indian classical and western contemporary, he has been lauded for his signature dance vocabulary that combines the mathematically complex rhythmic footwork of Kathak and the free expressionism of modern. His creative emphasis is known to encompass the structural and mathematical elements that comprise each dance style.
The artistic progeny of Sri Pratap Pawar, Khan began his formal training in Kathak at seven, appeared in Peter Brook's Mahabharata at fourteen, and had already toured the world by the time he hit twenty. An alumnus of De Montfort University and Northern School of Contemporary Dance (where he had trained in modern dance), his first solos quickly attracted attention, mesmerising critics and audiences with his bold and inventive experimentations with Kathak. To date, Khan has collaborated with some of the biggest names across dance, music, film and literary fields such as Sylvie Guillem, Nitin Sawhney, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Jocelyn Pook, Juliette Binoche, Tim Yip and Hanif Kureishi amongst others. He is the artistic director of his own dance company, and an associate artist of MC2: Grenoble and Sadler's Wells, London in a special international cooperation.
Read our Exclusive Q&A with Akram Khan!
IN CONVERSATION WITH Akram Khan
Akram Khan's bold approach to creating dance works and his signature choreographic style are drawn upon techniques and vocabularies from Kathak and modern dance. Join him in this dialogue as he reveals his approach towards dance and his creative process. Khan will also let us in on the inspirations and experiences that enriched his artistic journey.
31 May 2012, Thu, 10.45am (1hr 30mins)
Esplanade Recital Studio
Myth of Tomorrow – Dance Masterclass
30 May 2012, Wed, 7pm (2hrs)
Esplanade Rehearsal Studio
Participants will have the opportunity to learn about Akram Khan's creative process and his approach to creating movement material for his duet in Gnosis (2009). His distinct contemporary dance style draws upon principles of the Indian classical dance form, Kathak, such as its gestural detailing, precision of line and focus, extremities of speed, and its tradition of story telling.
Man Vs Nature – Dance Masterclass
2 Jun 2012, Sat, 1pm (2hrs)
Esplanade Rehearsal Studio
In this masterclass, Akram Khan shares his experience of using spoken word in his choreography for his latest work DESH, a solo jointly devised by Khan with writer and poet Karthika Nair. The direction of the piece was first guided by the exploration of the term "desh", meaning "homeland" in Bengali. Participants will gain an insight of how he uses textual materials and narratives to help develop powerful choreography without over-complicating the relationship between spoken words and body language. DESH draws multiple tales of land, nation, resistance and convergence into the body and voice of one man trying to find his balance in an unstable world.