Akram Hossain Khan, is an English dancer and choreographer of Bangladeshi descent. His background is rooted in his classical kathak training and contemporary dance.
“The rules of Khan’s new company were simple: take risks, think big and daring, explore the unfamiliar, avoid compromise and tell stories through dance that are compelling and relevant, with artistic integrity.”
In August 2000, he launched Akram Khan Company. His first full-length work Kaash, a collaboration with Anish Kapoor and Nitin Sawhney, was performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2002.
In Kaash, Hindi for ‘if’, the British-Bengali choreographer Akram Khan presents his own vision of Shiva, the god of both destruction and creation. The world-famous artist Anish Kapoor translates this transcendent theme into a poetic stage setting. With his compelling rhythmic structures, the English-Indian composer Nitin Sawhney then creates parallels with Khan’s powerful movement idiom, rooted in the Indian dance form Kathak.
DESH —- Premier: September 15, 2011
DESH is a new full-length contemporary solo and the most personal work to date from celebrated choreographer and performer, Akram Khan. DESH meaning ‘homeland’ in Bengali, 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.
Moving between Britain and Bangladesh, Khan weaves threads of memory, experience and myth into a surreal world of surprising connection. At once intimate and epic, DESH explores fragility in the face of natural forces, and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in the rhythms of labour, in dream and story, and in transformation and survival.
For this production, Khan teams up with Oscar-winning visual artist Tim Yip (Production Designer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), fellow Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist lighting designer Michael Hulls, writer and poet Karthika Nair and Olivier award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook.
Zero Degrees —- Premier: July 8, 2005
An exciting collaboration between Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi, this is an opportunity to see these remarkable artists working with sculptor Antony Gormley and composer Nitin Sawhney.
Khan and Larbi first met in 2000 when they quickly discovered strong similarities in their work. Both are sons of Islamic families brought up in Europe, and both draw upon this meeting of cultures, combining complex Indian Kathak dance with the speed and precision of contemporary movements.
zero degrees was borne out of their longing to create work together, and follows them on a journey to seek the reference point, the source, the ‘0’ at life’s core. Inspired by their own dual identities, the two search for this middle point through polar opposites; becoming/death, light/dark, chaos/order.
Creating the environment for this journey is artist Antony Gormley, most famous for his ‘Angel of the North’ sculpture. Working closely with the two dancers, his design will reflect the concept of duality explored in zero degrees. Specially commissioned music is by composer/producer Nitin Sawnhey. This is a rare chance to see four of today’s greatest artists join forces.