CriticalDance Forum

Akram Khan Dance Company
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Akram Khan Dance Company

If anyone can, Khan can
By Rose Jennings for The Observer

I was supposed to have given up smoking. But faced with the claims made for British-Bangladeshi dancemaker Akram Khan, I began to wonder whether it wouldn't be wise to lay in a pack. Or five.

Khan was bought up in south London. Though trained in Western contemporary dance, he is most popularly associated with kathak, a thrillingly graceful south Indian form that demands precision from its dancers, but also lends itself well as a narrative form.

Performers tend to break off, to address the audience directly, or to bring forward the accompanying musicians.

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<small>[ 17 April 2005, 01:31 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Akram Khan Dance Company 2003-2005

Akram Khan: Third Catalogue, Purcell Room, South Bank, London
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

Third Catalogue is Khan's third Kathak recital here, and it includes highlights from the other two.

published : 18 April 2005

<small>[ 18 April 2005, 08:02 AM: Message edited by: kurinuku ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Akram Khan Dance Company 2003-2005

Zoe Anderson wrote: "Khan is a performer of staggering gifts, but little humility."

Just for the record, I have always found humility a characteristic I would associate with Akram Khan, whether on or off stage.

<small>[ 18 April 2005, 08:06 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:50 am ]
Post subject: 

Spiritual mould
Dancer and choreographer Akram Khan tells how his mother taught him to have faith in himself and in the power of prayer. By Rosie Millard for The Times:

The highly acclaimed dancer and choreographer Akram Khan, 30, is contemplating a mould of his body, lying prone on the stage at Sadler’s Wells theatre in London. Sculpted by Antony Gormley, the Khan mould is a key to Zero Degrees, a collaboration between Khan, his fellow choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Gormley and the musician Nitin Sawhney. “We are going to try to burn it every night,” smiles Khan. “It resembles a body on an Indian funeral pyre.

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Zero Degrees
By Debra Craine for The times at Sadler’s Wells

SEVEN years ago the British choreographer Akram Khan was travelling from Bangladesh to India. It was a memorable journey, and for all the wrong reasons. He was harassed by corrupt border guards who took his passport, he encountered a dead man in his train carriage, and he was disturbed by the detachment of his fellow passengers, none of whom offered to help.

It’s clearly a memory that has stayed with him, for it now inspires Zero Degrees, his new collaboration with the artist Antony Gormley, composer Nitin Sawhney and choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. This impressive quartet has produced a stylishly realised and endlessly fascinating piece of dance theatre born out of Khan’s traveller’s tales.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:50 am ]
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Opposites attract
What happens when mismatched choreographers and a confrontational artist join forces for a new dance show? For The Guardian, Judith Mackrell finds out.

Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui may be two of Europe's most successful choreographers but they don't make obvious dance partners. Physically, they've been sprung from completely opposite moulds - Cherkaoui pale, thin-boned, nervy; Khan dark, elegant and burnished. And while Cherkaoui has made his name in harshly contemporary dance drama, Khan's work is rooted in the classical traditions of kathak.

Yet when the two men met in 1999 it was their differences that drew them together, and then lead them on to discover unexpected similarities. Both come from strict Muslim families and have grown up with a sense of cultural duality - the former from a Bangladeshi-British background; the latter Moroccan-Flemish.

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Zero Degrees
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

Akram Khan has attracted some impressive collaborators in the past - the sculptor Anish Kapoor and the composer Nitin Sawhney for his dance Kaash, the writer Hanif Kureishi for Ma. But the line-up for his latest project, Zero Degrees, comes yet more garlanded with names.
Not only is his co-choreographer and performer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, (who ranks with Khan as one of Europe's most charismatic dance talents) but the work has designs by the sculptor Antony Gormley and yet another score by Sawhney.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:21 am ]
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By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times

The dancer/choreographers Akram Khan (who has a Bangladeshi/British background and is much admired for his fusion of Kathak and modern dance) and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (from a Flemish/Moroccan family, and associated with Alain Platel's Les Ballets C de la B) are united this week at Sadler's Wells in a long-contemplated creation, Zero Degrees.

They have enlisted Nitin Sawhney to provide a score and Antony Gormley to create design, which shows the stage as a white box on which lie two life-size articulated male figures made from some white material that permits the figures to stand and be manipulated in a spooky semblance of human action.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Jul 17, 2005 6:00 am ]
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Twisted brothers
With a little help from Nitin Sawhney's music and Antony Gormley's set, Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui have created an extraordinary, intimate meditation on belonging. By Jann Parry for The Observer:

Zero degrees is the point of transition between different states: temperatures, geographical locations or, according to Akram Khan, presence and absence, life and death. Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui chose it as the title for their collaborative duet, several years in the planning, with Nitin Sawhney providing music and Antony Gormley designing the stage set. The two dancers met on the festival circuit in 2000. Both are Muslims, caught between different cultures: Khan is British Bangladeshi, Cherkaoui Flemish Moroccan.

They can never be neutral about their dual identities, not quite at home in their skins.

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Dance: Two of a kind
Pairing up two very different types of performers produced visual delight, says David Dougill for The sunday Times.

In Zero Degrees, premiered at Sadler’s Wells last Tuesday, the stage is a pristine pale- grey box, cleanly lit and inhabited throughout the 70-minute performance by just four figures. But only two of them are human. They are the co-choreographers and dancers, Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, in a first-time collaboration, and they develop a partnership of remarkable physical attunement, sensitivity and emotional resonance.

The other figures, compelling in a different and silent way, are dummies — two life-size white silicone casts of the dancers’ bodies, created by the sculptor Antony Gormley.

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Marvellous hybrid kicks like a mule
Ismene Brown for The Daily Telegraph reviews Akram Khan at Sadler's Wells

Akram Khan is the child of both traditions, with his London contemporary dance upbringing and his superb training in the North Indian classical dance form, Kathak. His recent works have grown increasingly dance-theatrish - not, I think, to their advantage - but in his latest work, zero degrees, he links up with the Flemish-Moroccan dancer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, the composer Nitin Sawhney and sculptor Antony Gormley, in a hybrid where Asia and Europe blur, elements bump up against each other untidily, ideas jangle, and sentimentality threatens to overwhelm it in places, but above all one is simply amazed by the dancing.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Jul 17, 2005 6:01 am ]
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From the San Jose Mercury News,

Choreographers present new dance piece


Associated Press

LONDON - One is trained in traditional South Asian dance and the other draws on everything from hip-hop to opera in his modern choreography.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:57 am ]
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Akram Khan/Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sadler's Wells, London
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent on Sunday

British-Bangladeshi Akram Khan is among the most charismatic dance talents in Britain. Flemish-Moroccan Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui holds similar status in Europe. Khan's choreography works from a basis of kathak, Cherkaoui's from a basis of hip-hop and tanztheater. The idea that the two should create a work together seemed at best a prescription for clashing egos. Add in a couple more buzz names of the moment: sculptor Antony Gormley and composer Nitin Sawhney, and the project began to resemble a PR's fantasy wish-list, all hype and hot air.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:45 am ]
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Zero Degrees
By Katie phillips for The Stage

We know that each of the artists involved in the world premiere of this grand scale collaboration are all great in their own fields. But the prospect of seeing whether they can get together and pull off a successful performance has heralded a great deal of excitement.

The piece is based on Akram Khan’s story of a train ride in India.

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Author:  stella [ Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Another chance to see Zero Degrees

zero degrees, one of the first works created through Sadler's Wells' new commissioning programme, was an undoubted highlight of last season. After receiving its world premiere at Sadler's Wells to great critical acclaim, it went on to tour Europe to sell-out audiences. Now there is a second chance to see this remarkable collaboration between four of today's most respected artists.

9-11 March 2006 @ Sadlers Wells, see ... ero_06.asp

I'll be there.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks a lot, Stella - "Zero Degrees" was one of the highspots of my dance year in 2005 and it's one I'd like to see again.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:48 am ]
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Akram Khan is todays subject in the Guardian's "What I'd do if I had the money" feature. The format is to ask someone well known what they would do with oodles of cash. Mr Khan's imagination doesn't disappoint.,,1715918,00.html

Author:  stella [ Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:57 am ]
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Just a quickie to say that I saw Zero Degrees last night, and thought it was spellbinding in all respects. Will post a review later. Best thing I've seen in aaaaaaaages.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:52 am ]
Post subject: 

I fully understand your comments, stella. An amazing work in which the two performers create an intimacy I have never experienced before at Sadler's. Together with an intriguing narrative and terrific and contrasted performances, it's small wonder that "Zero degrees" is picking up awards.

Hats off to the creators/performers, Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and also Alistair Spalding, Director of Sadler's, for commissioning this work.

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