I saw a South Bank Show about Akram Khan a few months ago and have been meaning to go and see him in performance ever since.
This is the one drawback of living outside of London, the opportunity to see performers of his calibre. Actually Khan has performed outside of London but unless you’re a subscriber to a venue’s mailing list or a relevant publication there isn’t much chance of knowing what’s going on. Besides the performance runs don’t last very long out here in the sticks.
It’s not that I’m a great fan of modern dance but I want to see Khan for chauvinistic reasons – he’s a British born Bangladeshi and is wowing the British contemporary dance scene.
His profile on londondance.com states that he blends the Khatak dance style of Northern India with western contemporary styles but it’s his collaboration with other British Asian artists that particularly interests me,
His first full length production Kaash, a collaboration with world renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor and multi award winning composer Nitin Sawhney was premiered in May this year …
Actually, Kaash toured last year… of course I missed it! anyway, the magnitude of this collaboration can not be overestimated, Anish Kapoor is a brilliant artist in his own right and, although born in Mumbai, has lived and worked in Britain since the 70’s, (I’m claiming him as British anyway!). A Guardian interview with Nitin Sawhney reveals that this gifted musician, with Sanjeev Bhaskar, came up with the idea that eventually led to the ever watchable Goodness Gracious Me.
I’m reminded of the very first TV programme I ever watched that featured Asians in the British context. It used to air on Sunday, (or maybe Saturday), mornings, on the BBC during the 70’s and had Asian presenters delivering the weeks news in Urdu and often featured Asian artists. It was called – Naya Zindagi, Naya Jeevan – which Asian Dub Foundation translate as New Way, New Life
Akram Khan may give an encore performance of Kaash at the Royal Festival Hall this December. [Note to self – Be there!]