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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:24 am 
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Location: London, England
Akram Khan - Ronin
Purcell Room
11 April 2003

After two years as the Royal Festival Hall's choreographer in residence, Akram Khan has been honoured with the title of Associate Artist at the Royal Festival Hall. Much has been made of the fact that he is the first non-musician to be afforded this status but it's clear from Khan's performance that he is actually a consummate musician, and in the world of Indian kathak,the roles of dancer and musician are inseparable.

Khan comes to the microphone at the front of the stage and recites the complex rhythms (tal) in quick fire sylables, mimicking the scattering tabla tones. Then he moves into the centre of the stage and dances the same rhythms, with staccato footwork and a gesture to each beat.

The usually defined roles of dancer, musician and audience do not apply here. Rather than a 'performance' this is a sharing of the music between everyone present in the intimate venue. When Khan speaks to us, demonstrating the patterns, we're invited into the music, to hear what he hears. For example in 'Eleven' where a cycle of 11 beats (that would sound jarring in the context of western music) easily slips under our collective skin.

With its pulsing drone and repeated phrases, Indian music doesn't follow the same trajectory as western forms. We always come back to the same place rather than aiming for a different destination. This is about how we experience the time in between.It is about being absolutely 'in' the moment, yet at the same time transcending it - with the dancer's evocations of gods and warriors.

The evening opens with a prayer to Lord Shiva where Khan's extremely slow gestures are beautiful and breathtaking. The steel, strength and sensitivity of his movements is gripping, with the audience hanging on every miniscule rotation of wrist or raising of eyebrow. For anyone used to the trite mime of ballet or the opaque angles of contemporary dance, the wealth of expression Khan can find in the movement of one hand is amazing - birds, flowers and raindrops materialse in front of us.

The deliciously slow sections are juxtaposed with ferocious passages and virtuoso technical feats. Khan's bare feet beat in a blur while the jangling bells on his ankles try to keep up; his body spins in a series of lightning turns before stopping dead in a statuesque pose.

Khan is undoubtedly a masterful artist but this evening isn't just about showing off his fearless technique, it is his way of offering the music, the energy and the myth to us.

Ronin continues at the Purcell Room until 14 April. On 15 April Akran Khan will be joined by a number of special guests uncluding writer Hanif Kureishi and playwright Girish Karnard to explore the themes of strength, power,loyalty and warriors in the work.
Ronin will also be performed in Birmingham on 17 April at Dance Exchange,The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome. Box Office: 0121 6893040


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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 7:14 am 
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After having heard a lot of things about it I saw KAASH a few weeks ago. I must say I was really disappointed by the evening...

I found the performance REALLY boring. The first five minutes were impressive but after fifteen minutes or so of the same steps I had enough and I just wanted to leave. I didn't think the dancers were that precise which is a pity because the choreography asked for precision... :(

Wasn't impressed either by Akram Khan's use or execution of Kathak.

But most of all I didn't like the fact that the performers had no place to show their own personalities.

That was an empty and boring evening even if I recognize the commitment of the dancers.

<small>[ 13 April 2003, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: marc29 ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 2:11 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
review from The Times.

Quote:
AKRAM KHAN, the British-born wunderkind of Western contemporary dance and the classical Indian dance form kathak, is marking the end of his two-year stint as the Royal Festival Hall’s choreographer-in-residence with Ronin, an exceptionally skilful and entertaining performance. The show also inaugurates his role as RFH associate artist, a first for a non-musician.
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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 2:20 am 
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Review from The Guardian.

Quote:
Akram Khan has no problem with the fact that his most dynamic innovations in modern dance are grounded in his seriousness as a dancer of classical Kathak. As his ongoing trilogy of Kathak solos shows, he has every intention of staying with his roots - and every intention of making them known to his western audience.
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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 2:42 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thanks for your comments marc29. It just goes to show the variety of experiences that people can have with dance performance. I loved "Kaash" and it will be one of my highlights of the year. It kept my attention throughout and I found the different voices of the dancers more intriguing than with previous viewings of Khan's ensemble pieces.

Khan remains of of my favorite male dancers in any style. It would be a boring old world if we all thought the same. I remember that one of the US critics was very unimpressed, so it is a style that clearly doesn't suit everyone. Overall Akram Khan remains one of the most sought after UK dance artists worldwide.


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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 1:46 am 
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Grace turns ferocious
Zoe Anderson for The Daily Telegraph reviews Akram Khan at Festival Hall

Watching Akram Khan, you see steps being transformed. Movement is packed with texture and detail, with physical richness, without cluttering its outlines. He shows you what he's doing and what he's doing with it.

In his current programme, Khan is working as a Kathak dancer. He started his dance training in this Indian classical form, but he's better known for his work in contemporary dance. At 28, Khan is already starry: winning awards, collaborating with composer Nitin Sawhney and artist Anish Kapoor.

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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 1:33 am 
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Khan's brilliance is beyond question
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times


Akram Khan has been choreographer in residence on the South Bank for the past two years. He has done splendid things, not least in those creative essays that seek to build a bridge between his Kathak roots and his contemporary dance interest. Now his tenure is ended, but - merited recognition of his gifts - he will become the first dancer to be appointed associate artist of the Royal Festival Hall. Hurrah for him.

And even more cheers for his closing performances over the week's end at the Purcell Room. In these he shows himself as a virtuoso and notably imaginative artist in Kathak dance. Khan's brilliance in this style is beyond question. Lightning speed. Gesture that pours from him with the richest variety of accent and impulse.

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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:13 am 
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Review from The Observer.

Quote:
'I feel like I'm on holiday,' observes Akram Khan. After a week of triumphant reviews for Ronin, the second part of his dance trilogy exploring Hindu gods, Khan has invited an eclectic line-up of guests on stage, including writer Hanif Kureishi, actor Christopher Simpson and Girish Karnad, the director of the Nehru Centre. Part jam session, part theatre workshop, it's a risky experiment, but Khan is nothing if not ambitious.

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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 2:12 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Akram Khan
An audience with the rhythm king by Jenny Gilbert

Kathak – the classical dance of northern India and Pakistan – is no stranger to British stages, but it has taken the extraordinary input of a 28-year-old Londoner to bring kathak to a wider public, and this, curiously enough, through his work in contemporary dance. For Akram Khan is that rare breed of artist, equally at home in classical or avant-garde. One minute he's touring the globe with Kaash – his modish collaboration with artist Anish Kapoor and composer Nitin Sawhney – the next he's polishing classical steps with his guru. The cutting edge gains traceable roots; traditional gets a dose of glamour.

Last week saw Khan back in classical harness in a programme devised to mark the end of his tenure as the South Bank's choreographer-in-residence and launch him as associate artist – clearly, now they've got him they're not letting go. If on paper the evening looked recherche, the event proved once and for all kathak's thrilling accessibility. While it helps to know a smidgen of Hindu mythology, the virtuosity and sheer luminous beauty of Khan's performance give it a life far beyond the academic.

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<small>[ 30 April 2003, 08:07 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 6:07 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Akram Khan, Purcell Room, London, *****
Old tricks, new beauty - by Nadine Meisner for The Independent

Khan may be only 28, but he has more charisma than a fistful of veteran star performers. When he transfixes you with his

kohl-rimmed eyes, you feel he could charm a whole pitful of snakes. More importantly, he has blazing talent and vision. In

Ronin, the second part of the trilogy he started as the Royal Festival Hall's choreographer-in-residence (he's now associate

artist), the vividness of his dancing seems to regenerate kathak's language. The familiar geometries spring out fresh and

gleaming; compact and strong, he brings a unique muscular intensity to the virtuosities of kathak.

click for more[/b]


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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 6:08 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Akram Khan, Purcell Room, London, *****
Old tricks, new beauty - by Nadine Meisner for The Independent

Khan may be only 28, but he has more charisma than a fistful of veteran star performers. When he transfixes you with his kohl-rimmed eyes, you feel he could charm a whole pitful of snakes. More importantly, he has blazing talent and vision. In Ronin, the second part of the trilogy he started as the Royal Festival Hall's choreographer-in-residence (he's now associate
artist), the vividness of his dancing seems to regenerate kathak's language. The familiar geometries spring out fresh and gleaming; compact and strong, he brings a unique muscular intensity to the virtuosities of kathak.

click for more

<small>[ 30 April 2003, 08:08 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 2:02 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://www.dancing-times.co.uk/Pics/dancingtimes/200305/front.jpg" alt="" />

Akram Khan
by Lorna Sanders for The Dancing Times

When writing of Akram Khan critics use superlatives. He refers to his career as a “roller –coaster ride”. View a video clip of his work at www.londondance.com (click on Features menu, then “video box”). The following comments indicate what you will see there. Khan has: a “dazzling mixture of macho foot speed and honeyed muscular tone”1, a “lyrically generous upper body … commanding, graceful and charismatic, [and] a blistering percussive attack”2.

Akram Khan, of Bangladesh heritage, was born in London in 1974. His mother’s interest in dance was key. She introduced him to Bengali folk dancing and when he was seven took him to the celebrated kathak teacher, Sri Pratap Pawar. Theatre and drama were also influential.

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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2003 4:18 am 
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On the verge
From The Observer

Who: Akram Khan
What: Dancer
They say: 'He is very, very talented, and I wouldn't say that about many people. He's the real thing' Hanif Kureishi, novelist
We say: He creates his own force field of energy and speed - and all in bare feet.

Akram Khan has just returned from New York and plaudits for his show, Kaash, are doubtless still ringing in his ears. His eponymous dance group has notched up somewhere in the region of 190 performances worldwide of his first full-scale piece as a choreographer (he also performs in it), which features music by Nitin Sawhney and a set by Anish Kapoor.

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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:48 am 
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Kaash
By Sanjoy Roy for The Guardian


The opening of Akram Khan's Kaash is as high-impact a dance as you are likely to see. The backcloth, by Anish Kapoor, is a vast black rectangle shadowed with feathery grey that dominates the stage. Nitin Sawhney's reverberating drumbeats crash upon your ears. Centre stage, a lone figure (Inn Pang Ooi) stands with his back to the audience. He remains stock-still as the other four dancers lunge from the wings, arms scything the air or flickering about their bodies like flames. Their geometrical groupings splinter and overlap in hard-edged sequences. The scene is elemental, and the tension between sound, set and movement is palpable.

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 Post subject: Re: Akram Khan 2002 and 2003
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:54 am 
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Kaash, Queen Elizabeth Hall
By Zoe Anderson for The Independent

After touring the world for 18 months, Akram Khan's Kaash returns to London weighed down with awards and honours. I can see why. This is an ambitious, authoritative dance. Khan can be solemn, too convinced of his own seriousness, but Kaash is still worth taking seriously.

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