First, though, London gets a chance to judge for itself Khan's latest piece, Outwitting the Devil, which had its world premiere in Stuttgart two years ago, prior to being performed as the centrepiece of the Festival d'Avignon.
In Outwitting the Devil Khan once again delves into ancient myth in search of lessons and themes applicable to our days, this time the ancient Mesopotamian myth of Gilgamesh. Dating from 2,100 BC and generally regarded as the oldest surviving notable literature, the Epic of Gilgamesh tells of the story of the young King Gilgamesh, who is punished by the gods for having destroyed an ancestral cedar forest and killed its guardian Humbaba.
The gods take the life of his friend Enkidu, which forces Gilgamesh to confront sorrow and mortality.
This is very much Akram Khan territory, and he is supported by his tried and tested team: dramaturg Ruth Little, composer Vincenzo Lamagna, rehearsal director Mavin Khoo, costume designer Kimie Nakano, writer Jordan Tannahill, lighting designer Aideen Malone and visual designer Tom Scutt. The six-strong Akram Khan Company will perform.
Khan uses his signature blend of contemporary dance language and Indian kathak with his customary skill, and according to the Financial Times critic who saw it at Avignon, Outwitting the Devil 'contains gorgeous sequences'. However, you may have to read up on Gilgamesh before engaging with the work, as its narrative is, again according to the FT, 'rather vague'.
|What||Akram Khan Company, Outwitting the Devil, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
23 Nov 21 – 27 Nov 21, 19:30 Dur.: 1 hour 20 mins no interval
|Website||Click here to book|