Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today. In just over 18 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 Until the Lions, Kaash, iTMOi (in the mind of igor), DESH, 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.
Khan’s work is recognized as being profoundly moving, in which his intelligently crafted storytelling is effortlessly intimate and epic. Described by the Financial Times as an artist “who speaks tremendously of tremendous things,” a highlight of his career was the creation of a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim.
As a choreographer, Khan has developed a close collaboration with English National Ballet and its Artistic Director Tamara Rojo. He created the short piece Dust, part of the Lest We Forget programme, which led to an invitation to create his own critically acclaimed version of the iconic romantic ballet Giselle.
Khan has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including the Laurence Olivier Award, the Bessie Award (New York Dance and Performance Award), the prestigious ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) Distinguished Artist Award, the Fred and Adele Astaire Award, the Herald Archangel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival, the South Bank Sky Arts Award and six Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. Khan was awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005. He is also an Honorary Graduate of University of London as well as Roehampton and De Montfort Universities, and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban.
Khan is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells, London and Curve, Leicester.Read full NAC bio ›
Ruth Little is a dance and theatre dramaturg, a teacher and writer. Her work has encom-passed national arts organizations, remote rural communities, site-specific production and large and small-scale exhibitions and expeditions. She lectured in English Literature at the University of Sydney, and was Literary Manager at Out of Joint, Soho Theatre, the Young Vic and the Royal Court. Ruth was Associate Director at Cape Farewell from 2010–2016. She is dramaturg with Akram Khan Company (Gnosis, Vertical Road, DESH, iTMOi, Dust, technê, Until the Lions, Giselle) and has worked with Banff Arts Centre, Sadler’s Wells, Barbican, and many others. Winner of 2012 Kenneth Tynan Award for dramaturgy, Ruth has a number of publications including Art, Place, Climate: Situated Ethics, War in the Body, and The Meteorological Body.
Over the last 20 years, Michael Hulls has worked exclusively in dance, particularly with choreographers Russell Maliphant and Akram Khan, and established a reputation as a “choreographer of light”. His collaborations with Russell Maliphant have won international critical acclaim and many awards. Michael has worked with Akram over many years on productions including In-I, DESH, TOROBAKA, and most recently Until the Lions. In 2009, Michael became an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells. In 2010, his contribution to dance was recognized with his entry into the Oxford Dictionary of Dance, as only the fourth lighting designer to be given an entry. In 2014, Michael received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.
Vincenzo Lamagna is a musician, composer and producer based in London. His music is known for its visceral, emotive and edgy language that utilizes an unconventional hybrid of electro-orchestral sounds.Vincenzo has carved a niche in the alternative contemporary dance world, where he has established himself as a major collaborator with some of the most acclaimed choreographers of this generation, Hofesh Shechter and Akram Khan. His most recent collaborations include Until the Lions and Akram Khan’s award winning 21st-century adaptation of Giselle for English National Ballet. His scores are a mercurial combination of acoustic and electronic music, recognized for their ferocious industrial undertones, haunted melodies and cinematic soundscapes.
After completing her studies in dramatic arts in London, Mirella Weingarten studied fine arts in Hamburg and Edinburgh, with teachers including Marina Abramovic. Since 1996, Mirella has worked as a professional theatre designer and as a director for opera and dance theatre. Her recent work has been seen throughout Europe and includes an extensive collaboration with Berlin Contemporary Opera, designing many of their award-winning productions. Working with kinetic sculptures and moving objects on stage has characterized her work throughout the past years. Since 2011, Mirella has been the Artistic Director of the arts and music festival Schlossmediale Werdenberg in Switzerland, a festival for contemporary and early music and audio-visual art.
Kimie Nakano has designed costumes for Northern Ballet, Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Companhia National de Bailado, English National Ballet, Van Huynh Company, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, Rambert Dance Company, David Nixon, Didy Veldman, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, José Agudo and Yabin Studio. Kimie’s opera production credits include: The Return of Ulysses by John Fulljames for Royal Opera and Tristan und Isolde by Carmen Jakobi for Longborough Festival Opera. Her designs for Akram Khan Company include: Vertical Road, Dust (English National Ballet’s Lest We Forget), iTMOi, TOROBAKA, Gnosis, Kaash, The Rashomon Effect (National Youth Dance Company), technê (choreographed for Sylvie Guillem, Life in Progress).
Jordan Tannahill has been ‘widely celebrated as one of Canada’s most accomplished young playwrights, filmmakers and all-round multidisciplinary artists’ (Toronto Star). His plays have been produced on major stages internationally and translated into eight languages, while his films and multimedia performances have been presented at festivals including the Toronto Int. Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Venice Biennial. In 2017, his play Late Company transferred to London’s West End. Upcoming: his virtual reality performance Draw Me Close, produced by the National Theatre (UK) and the National Film Board of Canada, will open at the Young Vic in January 2019.