AUDIENCE REVIEW: Akram Khan
April 23, 2008
Show / Event Name
U.S. premiere: Bahok
April 23, 2008
Venue / Location
New York City Center
Last time you moved your body:
Tuesday evening in performance at Dance Conversations @ The Flea
Have you ever seen this company/ before?
Tell us a bit about your history with this group/performer?
Before the afternoon of the performance, I hadn't even heard of Akram Khan. I lived in London for a semester during college, and spent some time at Sadler's Wells, but this was my first exposer to the company.
Why did you go to the show? What did you expect to see?
I received a free ticket from a colleague of mine at City Center, so I went because it was an opportunity to see dance for free!
I purposefully didn't have any expectations going into the show. My only "prejudice" going in was that this should be something good enough to be onstage at City Center!
What was your favorite moment(s)? What inspired you?
The dancers from the Akram Khan Company were absolutely phenomenal. There was one woman who had a lot of dialog who just danced like she was made of rubber. They all embodied strength, fluidity and grace and traveled across the floor as if their legs were 10 feet long.
Describe as plainly and as specifically as you can what you actually saw. We are going for description without judgement.
There is no need for complete sentences, phrases and word lists are fine. You can describe these elements or anything you can think of: the artists, the kinds of movement, the qualities of the movement, the use of the stage/space, the musicality/timing...
The dancers/characters are of various ethnicities and backgrounds. They explore what it means to be home, to be lost, and to be traveling from one point to another. The dancing is broken up by vignettes showcasing the personality and culture of each of the dancers. Cultural misunderstandings ensue.
Describe any or all of these elements: music, lighting, the venue. - How did they contribute (or not) to your enjoyment of this performance?
The stage is set with a row of chairs and a sign with movable letters similar to a "departures" board in an airport. It projects mostly gibberish, but occasionally it says "delayed" or "phone home". The score was contemporary with themes of traditional Indian music woven in.
Would you like to see this performance / company again? Would you recommend it to a friend?
Why or why not?
I wouldn't recommend this performance despite the beautiful dancing, because thematically it was stale. The "waiting in an airport" metaphor has been used so often, and if it wasn't clear enough, the dancers talked about it. I felt like the work was a little dumbed down.
What would you like to have seen more of? Less of?
I'd like to have seen more abstraction. Less of the National Ballet of China dancers. They were beautiful, but didn't quite look right doing contemporary dance.
If you could, what would you ask the choreographer / dancers?
The piece was so clear conceptually (like, hit you over the head clear) I don't feel like I have many questions...
But, what research did the choreographer do to make this piece?