Akram Khan

Akram Khan is one of the most acclaimed choreographers of his generation working in Britain today. Born in London into a family of Bangladeshi origin, he began dancing at seven and studied with the renowned kathak dancer and teacher Sri Pratap Pawar.

 

After studying contemporary dance and working on the X-Group project with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker in Brussels, he presented his first solo works in the late 1990s, maintaining his commitment to classical kathak as well as developing modern work. He was Choreographer-in-Residence and later Associate Artist at the Southbank Centre London. Khan is currently an Associate Artist of MC2: Grenoble and Sadler's Wells, London in a special international co-operation.

 

DESH (2011), Khan's first full-length contemporary solo, is a part-autobiographical work which creates a stage environment that is at once intimate yet epic. Khan's latest contemporary ensemble work Vertical Road (2010) and recent creation Gnosis (2009), where he combined his classical Indian and contemporary dance roots, received critical acclaim and continue to tour worldwide.

 

Khan's notable company works are bahok (2008), originally produced in collaboration with National Ballet of China; Variations (2006), a production with London Sinfonietta in celebration of Steve Reich’s 70th birthday; ma (2004), with text by Hanif Kureishi; and Kaash (2002), a collaboration with artist Anish Kapoor and composer Nitin Sawhney.

 

Besides his company work, Khan also created duets with Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche (In-I, 2008), ballerina Sylvie Guillem (Sacred Monsters, 2007) and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (together with Antony Gormley and Nitin Sawhney for award-winning zero degrees, 2008).

 

In 2006 Khan was invited by Kylie Minogue to choreograph a section of her Showgirl concert, which opened in Australia in November that year.

 

Khan has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including the prestigious ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) Distinguished Artist Award in New York (2011), the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance (2011, Gnosis) in the UK and The Age Critics’ Award for Best New Work (2010, Vertical Road) at the Melbourne Arts Festival. He was awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005 and received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Roehampton and De Montfort Universities.