Akram Khan Company Afterthoughts

Mar 04, 2010

We hope you enjoyed the cultural and social richness of the Akram Khan Company's bahok. Did the performance remind you of any experiences you've had abroad? Find yourself thinking about your definition of home? Did the dancing convey this sense of "carriers" to you?  Let us know your thoughts, concerns, and stories.

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Comments

Pretty disappointing. Brilliant dancers, great music, pretty good setting, well lit. Whenever dancers start talking it's almost inevitable that the dance will get shorted. This is the quintessential case. Take out every word and leave the movement -- there is the start of a good piece of dance. Mr Khan didn't do his job. His logocentric reflex did not serve him well. Apparently he was reaching for "significance" instead of trusting the audience with his movement. (By the way, there really is nothing meaningful in ho[m/p]e. Home is not a hope and hope is not a home. Just two words that look alike.)

THIS WAS A STRANGE NIGHT, AND I REALLY WAS NOT TERRIBLY IMPRESSED AT ALL, EXCEPT FOR THE VERY CHARMING PAS DE DEUX THAT YOU HAVE SPOTLIGHTED ABOVE. IT WAS VERY WELL DONE, A DELIGHTFUL PIECE, AND A LOT OF FUN TO WATCH.

Bahok was a great project--perfect. Perfect dancing. Perfect sound score and a perfect blend of theatrical elements that was inspiring and thought-provoking. Bahok is set in a metro waiting area where all parties' transportation has been delayed. Above the performers is a huge, digitized monitor displaying a cascading and rapidly changing sequence of letters that reveal a message, sometimes vexing, humorous and poignant. (Think: The Matrix in presentation). The performers play on their nationalities, some S. Korean, Indian, Slovakian, etc. The scene begins rather pedestrian, how the dancers are sprawled across the space. Unfolding, some are on "mobile" phones (laugh here: Saju does an excellent job!), reading a newspaper, or nodding off, while a small, white woman (Spanish dancer, Eulalia Ayguade Farro) runs about, flipping, walking, tumbling; she is consumed by a bunch of torn papers she is very protective about--becoming aggressive with anyone who touches or moves her papers. Relationships form. The power is in the juxtaposition between the natural, human reactions elicited by the performers and heightened for stage, and when these moments are fleshed out, when the moments become a dance--heavy, robust dancing that is completely satisfying to watch. Akram Khan keeps the viewer's eyes selective in how he organizes bodies in space. At the same time, I enjoy watching the random scratching, sniffs and gestures from the peripheral bodies. Poignant, humorous and candid moments unfold (among them, Ms. Farro's monologue and Ms. Winlock's and Young-Jin Kim's interview at Customs) to reveal a piece that seems throughly created from the personal lives of the dancers. Their memories and relationships tell a story about the similarities foreigners share, the things that bind us all together and a common thread of home. Compelling. Honest. Thought-provoking. Live theater. Thank you A.K.

I agree with much of what has been already said - except I found some of the music too abrasive and at times deafening - way beyond making a point. I liked the presentation as a whole, liked the board as a center to the action and as a kind of sounding board. I also agree that the use of language was good - to a point; this used more language than any other "dance" that I have attended. I would have hoped for a bit more dance as the expression, leaving the board for more of the words. The use of lighting was marvelous, and I liked the incorporation of race and culture in the dance. My friend and I had been discussing some old family issues before bahok started and it was almost eerie how this flowed into the dance!

I truly enjoyed this performance...partly because it appeared that the dancers were also enjoying it. They were wonderful. The sound system was loud and abrasive at times, but the piece used voice, instrumentals and sounds in such a unique way that it fit the action on the stage very well. I never had to cover my ears to keep out the screeching. The creativity of the whole experience gave me hope that perhaps the next time I find myself in an airport waiting room I can look at it with "fresh eyes and attitude" and not just "suffer" through it.

Not enough dancing. When the company danced, they were marvelous.

I did not like this performance at all. I expected different - more traditional and less austere sets and costumes. I would not rec'd to anyone and understand why the theatre was half empty. I did not like the percussive music - not pretty to listen to at all. Their bodies were amazing and their strength amazing but, of all I have seen this year this ranks very low.

I enjoyed the creative choreography and the impressive dancing, but the performance was marred by 1) not being able to hear the peroformers clearly when they spoke and 2) not being able to see without craning my neck (I was in row 15 on the ground floor - (I had thought it would be a great seat). I also found the effect of the event plot unsettling and without a satisfying resolution - but that' just personal taste.

I absolutely loved the performance last night! Thank you, Northrop and Walker Art Center, for bringing the Akram Khan Company to Minneapolis. This was an amazing night!

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