For this of you who do not know this man, myth, talent and creative genius Akram Khan, I present his latest creation TOROBAKA as part of 45 Days of Dance Stories.
But, first I must bow down to this dancer, choreographer, collaborator and magic-man – Akram Kkan, His energy and vitality, his cross disciplinary works of art, his duets, and his vision for Dance as a global medium of creation, transforms into a medium of achieving transcendence for himself and the audience. And yet, having seen him perform, I feel this is but modest praise.
The poetry and lyricism he brings to his movements seem like an experimentation to the audience, but upon closer inspection, the precision and the emotion carried out in every twirl, assisted jump and lift tells a story that has been crafted over a thousand years. Trained as a Kathak Dancer, this English Dancer of Bangladeshi descent is all about manifesting his creation through dialogue with his partners on stage.
His latest on-stage partner and explorer of global-dance, is Israel Galván – the great Spanish Flameco Dancer. Teaming up with Akram Khan in TOROBAKA, they together explore the influence that Roma migrants (from Northern India) had on Spanish dance, especially the flamenco. The similarities and differences between this romani informed dance-form and the more traditional Kathak are the focal point of the choreography. The rapid footwork, the intimidation, the movement of arms are point so similarity and difference. The name itself – TOROBAKA, is also highlighting and flashing this melding of cultures, traditions, and areas of conflict as well as confluence. Taken from local vernacular of both dancers native countries Toro – meaning bull, and Baka – meaning cow, gives us TOROBAKA.
Essentially an experiment in presenting a dialogue well rehearsed, between Khan and Galván, their dance styles and traditions, are so easy and effortless that we as an audience feel we are viewing this exchange for the first time. The performance as well as the performers present to us an air of spontaneity that is so well practiced, that it leaves just enough space for improvisation, thus lending it an air of authenticity. Simply put, Akram Khan and Israel Galván, are electric.
Here’s a trailer to whet your appetite.
For videos of Akaram Khan’s generosity and astounding chemistry with his partners on stage, I feel there is no better example that his collaboration on “Sacred Monsters” with Sylvie Guillem, to see parts of this extraordinary and rare coupling watch this – I assure you – you won’t regret it!