Setting the digital stage for Akram Khan’s Jungle Book reimagined

Photo of the hand-drawn animation projected on the NAC Kipnes Lantern at night
YeastCulture's hand-drawn animations in a scene of Akram Khan's Jungle Book reimagined, projected on the NAC Kipnes Lantern at night. © Jen Derbach Photography

Akram Khan’s Jungle Book reimagined comes alive on the NAC’s Digital Stage  
The Kipnes Lantern will light up with stunning animations created for the show by YeastCulture. 

Producing the visual story to support Akram Khan’s Jungle Book reimagined — coming to Southam Hall from October 19 to 21 — was an epic project involving 11 animators, creating over 50 minutes of hand-drawn animation. From October 6 to 21, experience moments of this beautifully crafted work on the NAC’s Kipnes Lantern every night starting at 6 pm.

YeastCulture was established in London, UK, in 1999 as a space to explore innovative ways of connecting the stage, video and the screen into one integrated audience experience. The company works across art forms blending film, live performance, animation, documentary, set design and projection mapping. 

Jungle Book reimagined

Based on the original story of Rudyard Kipling’s much-loved classic, Khan reinvents the journey of Mowgli through the eyes of a climate refugee, and very consciously approached the creation of this production as a direct action towards climate change.

“Climate change is and will continue to affect all living creatures on this beautiful planet. So then how do we create a work that uses less sets, so we can travel lighter when touring? Since lockdown, I have come to appreciate technology, in ways that I did not before COVID-19. And that’s simply because it has allowed me to stay connected with my loved ones, my artistic team and the wider world. Without the use of technology, I would have felt truly alone. 

And so, for Jungle Book reimagined, the stage is nearly empty – there is no traditional physical set. To achieve this, I explored the use of technology, projections and film as the non-physical set. We must not forget that most often, great storytelling can be told by the simplest of tools. Our bodies, our voices, and our conviction in that story.” 

– Akram Khan, Director and Choreographer

Akram Khan is an audience favourite at NAC Dance and has toured eight of his productions and collaborations since 2001, the most recent in 2018 with his solo XENOS. Hailed for his deeply moving aesthetic, he crafts narratives that are at once intelligent, intimate and epic. 

Jungle Book reimagined speaks to all generations. The performance is recommended for children ages 8 + years.

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