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Influences of Akram Khan that have contributed to his choreo

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Jen Boon

on 17 March 2014

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Transcript of Influences of Akram Khan that have contributed to his choreo

Influences of Akram Khan that have contributed to his choreographic style
Spoken Word
Collaboration
Point: One of the influences of Khan's movement and choreographic styles is collaboration.
Evidence: In Zero Degree's, Khan collaborated with sculptor Anthony Gormley, to create the the identical dummies of Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, creating Ibral and Marka. Ibral is used within Larbi's solo, when they are moving around each other and using aggressive movements such as slaps and pushing away of one another, which then change to kind and soft movements.
Explain: The use of Anthony Gormley and his dummies help to highlight the theme of conflicting identities and self hate, that is especially shown within this section.
Contemporary Kathak
Point: The Indian dance form of Kathak is used throughout many of Khan's piece's and is used as one of his main styles. This influence has come from his Bangladeshi heritage.
Evidence: It is the main style of dance in his piece 'Zero Degree's' (2005). The style of Kathak is evident throughout, through the use of footwork ( three speeds) and the expression and gestural movement of the arms. The first time the Kathak is really introduced is in the section 'Shadows and Sufi'. This is where Larbi and Khan perform Sufi turns around the space showing the dominance and conflict of each identity.
Explain: Kathak contributes to Khan's choreographic style, as it uses the influences of his heritage and also develops the commonly used dance style of contemporary by collaborating and confusing the dance style's, so that there is no clear division between where one ends and the other starts. Kathak and contemporary movement, thus creating Khan's individual style.
Point: Khan uses spoken word in several of his pieces including Rush and Zero Degree's. Khan often uses spoken work to enhance the theme of his performances and his movement used, He also uses spoken word as timing and to instigate the beginning and end of a piece.
Evidence: For example in 'Rush' Khans shouts 'Da' to instigate to the dancers the end of the first section. In Zero Degree's he uses spoken word to tell the story of his train journey and how he felt about his dual nationality. For example in the first section 'Passports' he uses spoken word to set the scene and atmosphere of the piece, also to begin to tell the story of his journey from India to Bangladesh. He then uses spoken word again in the sections of Barhant, Attack the Block, which uses spoken word to show the aggression and conflict between the identities.
Explain: Spoken word is significant to influencing Khans choreographic style as it brings an alternative approach to conveying his themes alongside the intricate movements and replaces the rhythm structure of music. It also contributes to the Kathak style, as he uses gesture through his spoken word and to highlight the complex relationship structure between himself and Larbi and also the relationship of the two identities.
Sacred Monsters
In Akram Khan's piece 'Sacred Monsters' 2006 Khan uses Kathak styles, spoken word and story telling.

The Kathak style is used throughout Sacred Monsters when he is performing by himself and the other two females are to the side of the stage. He uses Kathak hand gestures and fast footwork rhythms,

Khan uses spoken word and story telling to convey his theme of the flip side of stardom and the expectation that an audience has on the dancer and the character they play or the story they are telling.
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