We’ve being wondering how Akram Khan could possibly top the unalloyed triumph of his first full-length creation for English National Ballet, Giselle, which premiered in 2016 and dragged the archetypal Romantic ballet to a modern-day world of refugees and exploited factory workers.
Now, a corner of the veil shrouding his new work, Creature, has been lifted: the first images of the work in progress have been revealed, as have some of the details of the concept behind this special commission for ENB’s 70th anniversary year.
The outcast, the stranger, has long been a special interest of Akram Khan’s and a leitmotif of much of his work, and so it is with Creature, where the choreographer is inspired by Georg Büchner’s expressionist play Woyzeck, as well as by Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.
Woyzeck is about the exploitation of a poor, lonely soldier by an army doctor, which leads him to madness and murder; Frankenstein is about the horrific unforeseen consequences of a man’s arrogant attempt to play God through the abuse of science.
These themes provide fertile material for Khan’s exploration of ambition, human endeavour and morality, through a tale centred on an outsider, and his feelings of abandonment and isolation in his futile search for belonging.
In ENB’s splendid group of dancers Khan will find plenty of suitable interpreters; we are excited to see that one of the principals cast as the Creature is the wonderful Jeffrey Cirio (pictured, top).
Creature reunites Akram Khan with previous collaborators: Oscar-winning designer Tim Yip (Best Art Direction for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), dramaturg Ruth Little, and multi-award winning lighting designer Michael Hulls. The sound score is by Vincenzo Lamagna with arrangement by James Keane.
Creature is a co-production between English National Ballet and Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (OBV), with Sadler’s Wells credited as co-producer.
Note: Audio described performance on Sat 25 September
|What||Akram Khan's Creature, ENB, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
23 Sep 21 – 02 Oct 21, 19:30 Sat 25 (audio described), Thu 30 & Sat 2 14:30 Dur.: TBC
|Price||£15-£75 (+booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book|