His remarkable contemporary reworking of that epitome of Romantic ballet, Giselle, for English National Ballet became an instant classic and is only the latest in a string of memorable works in his long career.
Now in this mid-forties, Khan said goodbye to full-length performance (though not to choreography nor to the odd cameo role) at Sadler's Wells in the Spring of 2018 with XENOS, his one-man tour de force homage to the colonial soldiers who fought alongside the Allies in World War I.
Now Khan reprises for the last time his role in Until the Lions, a work he created in 2016 as his first in-the-round production at the Roundhouse, where it’ll have its next outing.
Akram Khan’s Until the Lions is taken from the poet Karthika Naïr’s book Until The Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, which is an original reworking of the ancient Sanskrit epic.
Mahabharata means roughly, ‘the great tale of the Bharata dinasty’, and as you’d expect from an epic, it’s a long and intricate, at once poetic and philosophical work dating from well before the Christian era. Simply put, it tells of the rivalry between two great families: the warrior Bheeshma (Khan) abducts the princess Amba and renders her unmarriageable. Amba vows vengeance, kills herself, and is reborn as Shikhandi, who magically changes gender in order to kill Bheeshma in battle.
That’s just a simple starting point, and you are advised to read the synopsis beforehand so you can properly enjoy what is a landmark work from Akram Khan, with a remarkable group of collaborators, including visual artist Tim Yip, lighting designer Michael Hulls, writer and poet Karthika Naïr and dramaturg Ruth Little.
|What||Akram Khan, Until the Lions, Roundhouse|
|Where||Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Chalk Farm (underground)|
11 Jan 19 – 17 Jan 19, 19:30, 13 Jan at 18:00 Dur.: 1 hour and 30 mins
|Price||£18-£45 (plus booking fee)|
|Website||Click her to book via the Roundhouse|