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Zero Degrees (Khan & Cherkaoui, 2005)

Session exploring wider context of set work for A2 Dance.
by

Tina Carter

on 19 January 2015

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Transcript of Zero Degrees (Khan & Cherkaoui, 2005)

Exploring the practitioners
Zero Degrees
(Khan & Cherkaoui, 2005)

Who did Khan and Cherkaoui
collaborate with on Zero Degrees?
Nitin Sawhney
This session will provide
starting points for further independent research
Distinctive, diverse and versatile musical voice
International reputation across every creative medium
Award winning composer and producer
Has scored countless film, TV series and commercials as well as soundtracks for video games, dance and theatre.
DJ at London's Fabric nightclub
Composed score for the BBC's 'Human Planet' series
Also an actor, writer, director and cultural commentator

"...the four musicians will perform live, reacting to the dance in terms of colour, feeling and phrasing... the music doesn't dissolve into pure improvisation but there are building blocks of sound and rhythm that can be moved around as the piece changes." Sawhney, 2005

http://www.nitinsawhney.com/theatre.html
Other works example 1
In 2002 Akram Khan collaborated with Anish Kapoor and Nitin Sawhney on a full-length production called 'Kaash'.
Other works example 2
In 2011 Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui collaborated with Nitin Sawhney to create a dance piece called 'Tezuka' based on Japanese comic-book visionary Osamu Tezuka.
Antony Gormley
Internationally renowned artist
Installation artist and sculptor
Often uses his own body as a model for his sculptures
Studied Buddhism and Asian culture when travelling
'Angel of the North' (1998) and 'Event Horizon' (2007)
Turner Prize winner in 1994
The human body is a theme throughout his work

"In a way, every art object is a still, silent thing that lacks what we have, which is freedom of movement, the opportunity to act. I was very interested in how it could give the movement of dance a polarity by introducing a still, silent dummy." Gormley, 2007

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/how-we-met-akram-khan--antony-gormley-744831.html
Other works example 3
In 2008 Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui collaborated with Antony Gormley and Shaolin Monks to create the piece 'Sutra'.
Other duo collaborations to investigate
Juliette Binoche & Akram
Khan in 'In-I' (2008)
‘It is important that we remind ourselves of the value of that which we cannot touch. Is it not true that the empty space inside the cup is what renders it useful? Similarly, the stillness between steps, the spaces between musical phrases and the empty spaces in space itself contain all the mysteries of their eventual forms.’

Royal Festival Hall choreographer in residence Akram Khan teams up with the celebrated talents of Anish Kapoor (set design) and Nitin Sawhney (composer) to present his company’s first full length evening work Kaash (Hindi word for “if”). “Hindu Gods, black holes, Indian time cycles, tablas, creation and destruction” are the starting points for this new work for 2002.

Danced by a five-strong international cast of performers, Kaash continues Akram Khan’s quest to build bridges between the worlds of contemporary dance and the Indian classical dance form Kathak.
Analyse this extract of 'Kaash'. List the similarities and differences with 'Zero Degrees'.
Analyse this extract of 'Tezuka'.
List the similarities and differences with 'Zero Degrees'.
Cherkaoui worked with monks from the Shaolin temple in China, exploring the traditions of their ancient martial art, kung fu. Cherkaoui's aim in 'Sutra' had been to reveal the poetry in kung fu – poetry that was a world away from its portrayal in Bruce Lee movies. The piece was inspired by the skill, strength and spirituality of Buddhist Shaolin monks.

He has collaborated closely with artist Antony Gormley, who has created a design consisting of 21 wooden boxes which are repositioned to create a striking, ever changing on-stage environment. Polish composer Szymon Brzóska has created a beautiful brand new score for piano, percussion and strings which is played live.

You have to pay attention during a production by the Flemish-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui; there's invariably a lot going on. Minutes into TeZukA, his examination of the life and work of the Japanese manga (comic book) artist Osamu Tezuka, we are simultaneously offered a commentary in French about the delayed impact of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings on Japan's consciousness, an English translation on a screen, a woman playing a music-box, a tableau depicting Tezuka at work, several groups of dancers forming kanji (the characters used in Japanese script), and an evolving set.

Overlaying the whole, complementing action and mood with characteristic tact, is Nitin Sawhney's soundscape, at once Japanese-inflected and coolly universal. The multiplicity is typical of Cherkaoui. He likes to spill, to let more-or-less unfiltered streams of consciousness wash through his work, and while the result is infinitely preferable to the shrink-wrapped theory packages that constitute so much new European dance, the lack of structure can be daunting.
Analyse this extract of 'Sutra'.
List the similarities and differences with 'Zero Degrees'.
Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan in 'Sacred Monsters' (2006)
Full transcript