At once of the earth, and completely otherworldly, Akram Khan's apocalyptic last-ever solo piece as a performer (or so he has stated) grips from the outset, and never lets go. From the minute he is spat out onto the stage, tied to a rope which renders him as vulnerable as a newborn tied to the umbilical cord, or prisoner yearning to break free, this piece of choreography is a snarling beast. It is a nightmarish vision of a state of being in limbo, inspired by Prometheus. “Xenos,” which translates as 'foreigner' or 'stranger,' stands for anyone ostracised, othered, or incarcerated during times of conflict, or simply overlooked, put down or racially abused.
Akram Khan performing “Xenos.” Photograph by Ryan Buchanan
One way to get to know the history of a company is through the “liner notes” of its “Swan Lake” production, and for those of us continuing to build an admiring familiarity with Pacific Northwest Ballet via its digital season offerings, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell’s “Swan Lake” provides an interesting glimpse into PNB prior to Peter Boal’s leadership.FREE ARTICLE