in 2011, Desh met with immediate success around the world. Building on that, he created a version for children aged 7+ and their families, with the help of the theatre director Sue Buckmaster. Chotto Desh is a danced story which follows an adult delving back into his childhood memories. It explores the experiences of a child raised in the two radically different societies of Bangladesh and Britain. Beyond the coming-of-age story, it is an immersive show mixing different registers of dance, words, mime and video. It deftly plays with computer-generated images as the dancer climbs to the treetops, plays with an elephant and butterflies, or sets sail on a magical ship. Akram Khan has an unmatched talent for creating before our very eyes a world full of marvels, tempting us to follow him on a fantastical journey.
Source: Biennale de la Danse
Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists of today. In just over 19 years he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the arts in the UK and abroad. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as XENOS, Until the Lions, Kaash, iTMOi (in the mind of igor), DESH, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees.
As an instinctive and natural collaborator, Khan has been a magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines. His previous collaborators include the National Ballet of China, actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, choreographers/dancers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Israel Galván, singer Kylie Minogue, indie rock band Florence and the Machine, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, writer Hanif Kureishi and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost.
Khan’s work is recognised as being profoundly moving, in which his intelligently crafted storytelling is effortlessly intimate and epic. Described by the Financial Times as an artist “who speaks tremendously of tremendous things”, a highlight of his career was the creation of a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim.
As a choreographer, Khan has developed a close collaboration with English National Ballet and its Artistic Director Tamara Rojo. He created the short piece Dust, part of the Lest We Forget programme, which led to an invitation to create his own critically acclaimed version of the iconic romantic ballet Giselle.
Khan has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including the Laurence Olivier Award, the Bessie Award (New York Dance and Performance Award), the prestigious ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) Distinguished Artist Award, the Fred and Adele Astaire Award, the Herald Archangel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival, the South Bank Sky Arts Award and eight Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. Khan was awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005. He is also an Honorary Graduate of University of London as well as Roehampton and De Montfort Universities, and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban.
Khan is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London and Curve, Leicester.
Source: Akram Khan Company
More information: akramkhancompany.net
After studies of mathematics preparatory class and medecine studies, Luc Riolon begins to make films within the framework of his Faculty of Medicine, then met the famous choreographers of the 80s (Maguy Marin, Mark Tompkins, Josef Nadj, Daniel Larrieu Daniel, Odile Duboc, Josette Baiz, Angelin Prljocaj, etc.) with whom he shoots numerous films (re-creation for the camera, the illegal securements). In the 80s with the American choreographer Mark Tompkins he introduces the video on the stage, broadcasting live on big screens the images which he shoots with his camera by being on the stage with the dancers, mixing live images and pre-recorded images. With Daniel Larrieu he participates in the creation of the famous show WATERPROOF, the contemporary choreography which takes place in a swimming pool, by filming live) the dancers dancing in the water and mixing the live images with pre-recorded underwater images. This choreography has been shown in many countries (USA, Canada, Spain, England…)
Then he collaborates during 10 years with the famous french TV producer Eve Ruggieri for her programs" Musics in the heart ". He shoots with her of numerous documentaries about classical music, opera singers and dance. From 1999 he directs documentaries of scientific popularization, by following researchers attached to the resolution of a particular ecologic enigma. These two artistic and scientific domains which can seem separated are nevertheless, for Luc Riolon, connected by the same approach : the deep desire to understand the world, by the art or by the scientific research, and to restore it to the largest number. Among his recent scientific documentaries, we can quote for example " The Enigma of the Black Caiman ", Living and dying in the swamp " or " The Nile delta: The end of the miracle ". “Chernobyl, a natural history ? “ These documentaries of scientific popularization recently have been awarded in international festivals.
Akram Khan Company
In July 1999 in the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, an animated and curiosity-filled conversation took place between the young gifted dancer/choreographer Akram Khan and an ambitious former dancer and just recently graduated arts manager Farooq Chaudhry. That conversation laid the foundation stone for a dynamic collaboration, culminating in the creation of Akram Khan Company one year later.
Inspired by Akram Khan’s early training in the Indian classical dance form Kathak, and the hybrid language that organically emerged when Akram’s kathak training encountered contemporary dance in his teens, a vision began to form, fuelled by a desire to learn and create through collaboration with the very best people across all the disciplines in the arts.
The rules 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 just over twenty years Akram Khan Company is now undisputedly one of the foremost innovative dance companies in the world. The programmes range from kathak and modern solos to artist-to-artist collaborations and ensemble productions. The company has a major international presence and enjoys busy tours that reach out to many cultures and peoples across the globe. Akram Khan has been the recipient of numerous international dance awards, the most notable being an Olivier Award for his solo production DESH in 2012. A milestone in the company’s journey was the creation of a section of the London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in 2012. Akram Khan Company is an associate artist at Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London and Curve Theatre in Leicester.
Akram Khan Company produces thoughtful, provocative and ambitious dance productions for the international stage. Akram Khan takes human themes and works with others to take them to new and unexpected places – embracing and collaborating with other cultures and disciplines. The dance language in each production is rooted in Akram Khan’s classical Kathak and modern dance training and his fascination with storytelling. The work continually evolves to communicate ideas that are intelligent, courageous and new, bringing with it international acclaim and recognition as well as artistic and commercial success.
Source: Akram Khan Company
More information: akramkhancompany.net
Chotto Desh - Générique
Presented by Arte France, 24 IMAGES
Maison de la Danse, Lyon, France – 2017, 9th of december
Artistic Direction and Original Choreography Akram Khan
Direction and Adaptation Sue Buckmaster (Theatre-Rites)
Music Composition Jocelyn Pook
Lighting Design Guy Hoare
Stories imagined by Karthika Naïr and Akram Khan
The grandmother’s fable in Chotto Desh is taken from the book The Honey Hunter
Written by Karthika Naïr, Sue Buckmaster and Akram Khan
Assistant Choreographer Jose Agudo
Grandmother’s voice Leesa Gazi
Jui’s voice Sreya Andrisha Gazi
Dancers Dennis Alamanos or Nicolas Ricchini
Producer Claire Cunningham on behalf of AKCT
Original Visual Design Tim Yip
Original Visual Animation created by Yeast Culture
Original Costume Supervisor Kimie Nakano
Sound Designer and AV Engineer Alex Stein
Music Engineer Steve Parr
Costume Reconstruction Advisor Martina Trottmann
Technical Manager Ed Yetton
Rehearsal Director Amy Butler
Stage Manager Dean Sudron
Painted Head Sequence devised by Damien Jalet with Akram Khan
‘Bleeding Soles’ lyrics written by Leesa Gazi
Singers Melanie Pappenheim, Sohini Alam, Jocelyn Pook (voice/viola/piano), Tanja Tzarovska, Jeremy Schonfield
We gratefully acknowledge the artists who contributed to the original production of DESH by Akram Khan Company.
Co-commissioned by MOKO Dance, Akram Khan Company, Sadler’s Wells London, DanceEast, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Mercat de les Flors Barcelona, Biennale de la danse de Lyon 2016 and Stratford Circus Arts Centre.
Supported by Arts Council England