Episode 1: Akram Khan

Broadcast date: 13 October 2022

The opening guest in the new series of Why Dance Matters is a star among contemporary dance artists. Akram Khan is a dancer, choreographer, director and dreamer, whose work has shaped the international landscape of dance. He came to attention early as a virtuoso in kathak, the Indian classical dance form, and at 13 appeared in Peter Brook’s landmark Mahabharata. His own work explores kathak, contemporary dance and increasingly classical ballet, driving deep roots into myth and his own personal story – and our conversation is heartfelt and thoughtful, spiralling off in unexpected directions.

Akram Khan MBE

Akram Khan in front of black and white background with hands joined in front of his chest

Akram Khan by Julien Benhamou

Akram Khan is one of today’s most celebrated dance artists, his imaginative and highly accessible productions including XENOS, Until the Lions, DESH, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees. A magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines, he has collaborated with the National Ballet of China, Juliette Binoche, Sylvie Guillem, Kylie Minogue, Florence and the Machine, visual artists Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley, and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney and Jocelyn Pook. He created a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and has developed a close collaboration with English National Ballet. He was awarded an MBE in 2005.

Explore Akram’s work and find where Jungle Book Reimagined and Outwitting the Devil are touring.

Creature premieres at the London Film Festival on 15 October and will be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on 24 February 2023.

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