Mystic, vibrant, violent, feminist—Akram Khan’s newest work is all this and more. The hour-long piece stars Khan himself alongside Ching-Ying Chien and Christine Joy Ritter, and takes its inspiration from Karthika Naïr’s 2015 collection of poems Until the Lions, a reinterpretation of the Mahabharata, the ancient Sanskrit epic. This postmodern narrative layering—in which mythology is reframed through a modern literary lens and then channeled through a prism of contemporary dance, itself informed, in this case, by kathak tradition—lends a rich complexity to the work, one that’s felt in many aspects, from the stratified music to the mosaic sequencing.
Akram Khan and Ching-Ying Chien in “Until the Lions.” Photograph by Jean Louis Fernandez
When a choreographer takes on volcanic and iconic works from American musical giants like Leonard Bernstein and John Adams one move they could take is to cool them down with a couple of more soothing European works in between.Continua a leggere