Akram Khan Artist Profile

Feb 25, 2010

Birth Place: London

Birthday: July 29, 1974

Started Dancing: Age 7

First Stage Appearance: Age 14 (Peter Brook's production of Mahabharata)

Started Akram Khan Company: August 2000


Its no wonder the London-based choreographer has become the buzz of all recent dance talk. The 35-year-old dancer/choreographer has been lauded as spellbinding, mesmerizing, and absolutely riveting, and has been receiving standing ovations to sold out shows worldwide. So what's the deal? What's so special about Akram Khan you might ask?

Well... brought up in London as a Bangladeshi, Khan took his first dance lessons from the great Kathak artist Sri Pratap Pawar then followed up by studying at De Montfort University in Leicester, Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The result - an intriguing Indian Kathak dance blended into a contemporary language performed with more power and energy than ever imaginable.

Khan started performing solo works in the 90s, including some of his better known pieces Polaroid Feet (2001), Ronin (2003), and Third Catalogue (2005). After launching his own company in 2000, Khan opened a whole other platform of opportunity, collaborating with artists of other disciplines including theatre, visual arts, music, and literature. He later went on to become Associate Artist at the Southbank Centre and Sadler's Wells and has won endless awards for his innovative establishments.  One of his highest honors came in 2005 when he was awarded an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his services to dance.

Aside from innovation, Khan also represents a number of cross-cultural collaborations including bahok, originally created with the National Ballet of China. Bengali for "carrier," bahok reflects what it means to be a nomad and getting past cultural barriers. Khan himself describes it best in this video interview. This story of a modern day Babel is infused with such high quality and optimism that we are grateful to share with the Twin Cities in this Midwest debut. 



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