By Camelia Cusnir
Akram Khan Company will present one of their most praised show of contemporary dance: “Kaash” (the Hindi word for “if”) on 8 and 9 May, at the National Theater in Bucharest, as part of the 16th edition of JTI Meetings. It will be the new version of the original “Kaash” staged in 2002, counting Akram Kahn among the performers. The show was considered as an “explosion in the contemporary dance” (The Daily Star), “epic, deeply focused and grandly beautiful” (The Daily Telegraph), “an elemental force” (The Observer).
The new version of “Kaash” was launched in December 2014 and is based on the same concept as the previous one, mixing contemporary dance and the Indian classical dance form Kathak, but with a different team of dancers. “As our first full-length company piece back in 2002, where I had the great opportunity of collaborating with Anish Kapoor and Nitin Sawhney, Kaash holds a very special place in our journey and in our hearts, and I am excited that it is now our first ever revival. Our new five-strong cast of international performers will shed another light and energy on the piece, focused on physicality and precision, that I believe still has all its relevance in 2014”, Akram Khan said about this new version of “Kaash. “Hindu Gods, black holes, Indian time cycles, tablas, creation and destruction” were the starting points for this work in 2002.
“It’s the same concept but, staging different people, there is a different dynamic of bodies. Plus, some of the movements get older and need to be adapted to the present, to our century”, explains Andrej Petrovic, assistant director of the company while talking to the Romanian press on Thursday.
Five dancers with very different and rich cultural and dancing background will perform on the TNB stage: Kristina Alleyne, Sadé Alleyne, Sung Hoon Kim, Nicola Monaco and Sarah Cerneaux. “It’s a very physically demanding show with a strong male energy” and is “very representative for Akram Khan celebration of movement”, Petrovic underlined.
In just over fourteen years Akram Khan Company is now undisputedly one of the foremost innovative dance companies in the world. The programmes range from kathak and modern solos to artist-to-artist collaborations and ensemble productions. The company has a major international presence and enjoys busy tours that reach out to many cultures and peoples across the globe. Akram Khan has been the recipient of numerous international dance awards, the most notable being an Olivier Award for his solo production DESH in 2012.
JTI Meetings started in 2000 with a show performed by the famous Bejart Ballet Lausanne. Over the years, JTI Meetings become a reference for all contemporary dance lovers in Romania. Nacho Duato and Compania Nacional De Danza, Cullberg Ballet, Joaquin Cortes, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Tango Pasion, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant, Gigi C?ciuleanu and Chile National Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet of San Francisco, Vortice Dance Company, Maria Pagés and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui performed in Bucharest as part of this event.
Artistic Direction and Choreography: Akram Khan
Composer: Nitin Sawhney
Set Design: Anish Kapoor
Performed by Kristina Alleyne, Sadé Alleyne, Sung Hoon Kim, Nicola Monaco, Christine Joy Ritter/Sarah Cerneaux
Rehearsal Director Andrej Petrovic
When: 8&9 May, 8 p.m.
Where: Bucharest National Theatre
Tickets: www.eventim.ro (only a few 300 lei tickets were still available on Thursday, 100 and 200 lei were sold out).