A British of Bangladeshi background and one of the most audacious choreographers of the 21st century, who combines in his performance and choreography both contemporary dance and traditional Indian ‘kathak’ styles.
On October, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, the Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art will also host the Russian premiere of a project created by a director, entitled ‘Exhibit B’. His ‘Living installations’ are a cycle of works on the edge of contemporary art and documentary theatre with the common motif of ‘human menagerie’ — less than 100 years ago natives of colonies were actually exhibited in cages. It is the story of the death of the national cultures of natives of British and other nations’ colonies.
The latter project has headlined at Avignon, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and other festivals. Exclusively for ‘Territoriя’, Bailey will add a Moscow-specific element — the new heroes will be Russian migrants. The project is organized with the support of the British Council.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION: ITMOI (IN THE MIND OF IGOR)
The acronym — iTMOi — stands for ‘In the Mind of Igor’. Igor Stravinsky drew inspiration for his famous ballet, The Rite of Spring, while immersed in a dream: a dancer performs a wearisome ritual meant to return Spring to the world through sacrifice, but in doing so she dances herself to death. Akram Khan’s production dives into the artist’s dream and after it — exploring a collective unconsciousness filled with mythology and passion.
2013 marked the 100th anniversary of The Rite of Spring’s first ever performance in Paris. To create the libretto, Stravinsky turned for help to Nicholas Roerich, Russian artist and expert in ancient rituals, who also created the stage designs and costumes for the premiere. Vaslav Nijinsky became the choreographer of the production. The Rite of Spring became symbolic of early modernism in theatre, reviving ancient, primal art that evoked strong and basic emotions.
‘Electric’, ‘stunning’, ‘masterful’ were some of the words used by the audience of the London premiere in 2013 to describe the performance, which illustrates Akram Khan’s rapidly evolving and innovative choreographic style. In «iTMOi» there are just a few original Stravinsky notes left in the musical interpretation by Ben Frost, Nitin Sawhney and Jocelyn Pook, but, like ‘The Rite of Spring’, the ballet is charged with the same energy and will to renew the language of art.
Elaborate costumes and choreography simultaneously make reference to several cultural traditions. Khan uses both modern and classical dance styles, such as Kathak, with which he began his own career as a dancer, Spanish flamenco, the dance of the dervishes, and a relatively young Japanese dance style, Butoh.
At the age of 13 Akram Khan was cast in Peter Brook’s Shakespeare Company production of Mahabharata — a production that changed the history of European theatre. Some years later he worked with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, a Brussels based dancer and choreographer. He began presenting solo performances of his work in the 1990s and in 2000 he launched the Akram Khan Company.
Akram Khan has collaborated with actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, and Tim Yip — visual artist, production designer and art director, known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Khan and his dance company performed at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony.
ABOUT THE «TERRITORIЯ» FESTIVAL
International Festival-School ‘Territoriя’ has been held since 2006. The festival headquarters is the State Theatre of Nations.