Ahead of his announced retirement from full length dance performances and before the UK premiere of his new full-length work Xenos, we will be joined by acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan and the writer on his new piece, Jordan Tannahill. This event takes a deep dive into the themes of Khan’s vast portfolio of work and explores careers in the arts and the enduring place of performance in our cultural identities. This event will be chaired by choreographer and artistic director Sonia Sabri.
Akram is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today. In just over eighteen years he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the arts in the UK and abroad. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as XENOS, Until the Lions, DESH, iTMOi, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees. An instinctive and natural collaborator, Khan has been a magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines. His previous collaborators include the National Ballet of China, actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, choreographers/dancers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Israel Galván, singer Kylie Minogue, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, writer Hanif Kureishi and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost.
Jordan is a Canadian playwright, author, theatre director, and filmmaker. His work has been presented in theatres, festivals, and galleries across Canada and internationally. His plays have been translated into multiple languages and honoured with various prizes including the 2014 Governor Generals Award for Drama for Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays, the 2014 John Hirsch Prize for directing, and multiple Dora Awards. In 2017, his play Late Company transferred to London’s West End and his debut novel, Liminal, was published earlier this year. His writing provides the text for Akram Khan’s full length solo production, XENOS, which will have its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells in May 2018.
Sonia is an award winning, inspirational British born dancer-choreographer. She creates work that spans from classical North Indian Kathak to explorations of contemporary approaches. Her productions reflect her appreciation of Eastern and Western cultures and she performs nationally and internationally. She choreographs regularly for dance, theatre and film. Sonia works as an advocate for women from under represented communities creating projects to empower them to gain a voice in todays society. She was nominated for the Asian Women of Achievement Award and the London Dance Awards. In 2017 she won the ACTA Award for Dance and The Bench Fellowship and has received two nominations for the Birmingham Inspiration Awards as the most Inspirational Woman and The Best Female Dancer, as well as a nomination for the Positive Role Model of the Year Award for Gender at the National Diversity Awards 2018.