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XENOS by Akram Khan Company (UK)
Programme and Trailer
Programme and Trailer
Accolades and Reviews
Accolades and Reviews
Director/Choreographer/Performer
Director/Choreographer/Performer
Creative and Production Team
Creative and Production Team
Critic's Guide I
Critic's Guide I
Critic's Guide II
Critic's Guide II
Ticketing and Enquiries
Ticketing and Enquiries
Dialogue on Dance: Akram Khan’s XENOS
Dialogue on Dance: Akram Khan’s XENOS
Classical Indian Music Workshop
Classical Indian Music Workshop

Whose war?  Whose fire?  Whose hand is this?

XENOS relives the dream of a colonial Indian soldier stuck in no-man's land.  Akram Khan and his stellar creative team unearth the experience of colonial soldiers who became xenoi in the First World War.

XENOS marks Akram Khan's final performances as a solo dancer in a full-length piece.  It reveals the beauty and horror of human condition in its portrait of an Indian dancer whose skilled body becomes an instrument of war.  Akram is joined onstage by five international musicians: percussionist B C Manjunath, vocalist Aditya Prakash, bass player Nina Harries, violinist Clarice Rarity and saxophonist Tamar Osborn. 

The running time of each performance is approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes without intermission. 
Audience is strongly advised to arrive punctually.  Latecomers will not be admitted.

Commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.  Co-produced by Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, The Grange Festival Hampshire, Sadler’s Wells London, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Théâtre de la Ville - Paris/La Villette - Paris, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, National Arts Centre Ottawa, The Center for China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF), Centro Cultural de Belém, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Grec 2018 Festival de Barcelona, HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden, Tanz Köln, Edinburgh International Festival, Adelaide Festival, Festival Montpellier Danse 2018, Julidans Amsterdam, Canadian Stage Toronto, Romaeuropa Festival, Torinodanza Festival / Teatro Stabile di Torino - Teatro Nazionale, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts New York, University of California Berkeley, Danse Danse Montreal, Curve Leicester, La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand – scène nationale.

 

Promotional Partner
British Council

Awards of Akram Khan
2011 Distinguished Artist Award, International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), New York (Akram Khan)
2012 12th Critics' Circle National Dance Award 2011 for Best Modern Choreography (Vertical Road)
2012 Olivier Awards 2012 for Best New Dance Production (DESH)
2013 13th Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2012, Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer (Akram Khan)
2014 The Herald Archangel Award, Edinburgh International Festival (Akram Khan)
2014 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production, New York (DESH)
2015 15th Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2014 for Best Modern Choreography (Dust, as part of Lest We Forget)
2016 Production of the Year by German magazine tanz (Until the Lions)
2017 Eastern Eye Arts, Culture & Theatre Awards 2017 for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and Choreography (Akram Khan)
2018 The Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2017, Best Classical Choreography for English National Ballet's Giselle (Akram Khan)
2018 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production in Dance Division, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Luminato (Until the Lions)
2019 The Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2018, Outstanding Male Modern Performance (XENOS)
2019 Laurence Olivier Award 2019 for Outstanding Achievement in Dance (XENOS)


Associateships of Akram Khan
2001 Choreographer in Residence, Royal Festival Hall
2003 Associate artist, Royal Festival Hall (the first time a non-musician has been afforded this status)
2005 Associate artist, Sadler's Wells Theatre
2011 Associate artist, Sadler's Wells Theatre and MC2: Grenoble in a special international agreement
2015 Associate artist, Curve Leicester
2019 Associate artist, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

 

“… a triumph of energy, empathy and intelligence … a triumph of collaboration…”

The Telegraph (UK)

“A work of incredible potency”

The Stage (UK)


“A work of defining greatness… Khan gives us the failing body, the breaking body, the body as repository of physical and psychic pain….”

The Guardian (UK)

"The much-fêted Akram Khan's final full-length dance performance is a consummate work of anguish and exquisite beauty."

InDaily (Australia)

 

Akram Khan

Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today.  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.  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.  

Khan is 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.  He was awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005.  He is also an Associate Artist of Sadler's Wells (London) and Curve (Leicester).


Major Works of Akram Khan and Akram Khan Company (UK)
2000 Fix 
2000 Loose in Flight
2000 RUSH
2001 Polaroid Feet
2001 Related Rocks
2002 Kaash
2003 Ronin
2004 ma
2005 Third Catalogue
2005 zero degrees
2006 Sacred Monsters
2008 Bahok
2008 In-I
2009 Confluence
2010 Gnosis
2010 Vertical Road
2011 DESH
2012 London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
2013 iTMOi
2014 Kaash (Revival)
2014 TOROBAKA
2015 Chotto Desh
2016 Until the Lions
2018 XENOS
2019 Outwitting the Devil

Other Major Works of Akram Khan
2014 Dust (English National Ballet)
2016 Giselle (English National Ballet)
 

Creative and Production Team

Musicians:
B C Manjunath (percussionist)
Aditya Prakash (vocalist)
Nina Harries (bass player)
Clarice Rarity (violinist)
Tamar Osborn (saxophonist)


Producer:
Farooq Chaudhry

Dramaturg:
Ruth Little

Writer:
Jordan Tannahill

Set designer:
Mirella Weingarten

Lighting designer:
Michael Hulls

Costume designer:
Kimie Nakano

Composer:
Vincenzo Lamagna

 

XENOS: Akram Khan’s Final Solo Dance — We Are All “Xenos”

Text: Catherine Yau

 

Akram Khan is a familiar name to most arts and dance lovers. Since 2009, his works have been featured in arts festivals in Hong Kong every two or three years, including his major works DESH, Until the Lion, iTMOi (in the mind of igor) and Giselle. Even if his name does not ring a bell with you, you may have seen his pulsating choreography in the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

 

After presenting Giselle, which was choreographed by Akram Khan for the English National Ballet last year, this year the LCSD brings to the Hong Kong audience XENOS, his latest work which premiered in 2018. This work also marks Akram Khan's final performances as a solo dancer in a full-length piece.

 

“Xenos” means “stranger” or “foreigner” in Greek. Khan might have chosen the Greek word as the title of his dance piece because it premiered in Athens, although the naming was more likely inspired by the story of Prometheus from Greek mythology, which is one of the storylines of the work. Prometheus creates human out of clay after the image of God and gives them knowledge. For the benefit of mankind, he defies Zeus, the leader of all gods, as he steals fire (the symbol of civilisation) and gives it to mortals. As his punishment, Prometheus is chained to a rock in the Caucasus for eternity, where his body is feasted on by an eagle. Khan presents through this story his reflections on the origin of humans, the meaning of humanity, the consequences of technological and technical advancement, and the people's fight against those in power and their perseverance.

 

Renowned Canadian writer, playwright and director Jordan Tannahill, wrote the text of this new work. Tanahill and Khan worked together to conceive the structure and content of XENOS. The piece was one of the works commissioned by 14-18 NOW (the UK's arts programme for the First World War centenary), and the First World War is the backdrop of the other storyline of the work.

 

Khan has always had a deep curiosity about his Bangladeshi heritage. While working on DESH, the London-born-and-raised choreographer travelled to Bangladesh to retrace his father's path, and to experience the land of his family. In DESH, he enters into the universe of the Mahābhārata, the Sanskrit epic of ancient India, in an exploration of complex human nature and emotions. In XENOS, he once again puts the spotlight on India—a neighbouring country of Bangladesh—by using India in the midst of the First World War as the setting of his story.

 

Tannahill and Khan's conversations revolved around the 1.4 million Indian soldiers who fought for the British—their coloniser—and yet became forgotten figures in history. What were the stories of these soldiers in the battlefield, after they had travelled far away from their homeland and culture to fight in a foreign land? How were the survivors treated after returning home? Why were they being “forgotten” in the end? Khan probes into the state of mind and emotions of the “xeno” through a character in the field of war.

 

Khan was trained in the classical Indian dance of Kathak from a young age, which explains his connection to Indian culture. Yet he has not stayed within the form of traditional performance, but instead he has merged elements of Kathak such as the rhythm produced by the stamping of the feet, and the circular hand and body movements with the vocabulary of contemporary dance to create a distinctive, throbbing and moving dance language. In XENOS, we can see both his authentic Indian dance technique, and his use of an innovative vocabulary to convey themes that resound with contemporary relevance. Another key feature of Khan's work is the layered meanings of the scenery and props on stage. As the work progresses, the mud-splattered sloping stage, the white ropes of varying thicknesses, and the old phonograph, come to embody different symbolic meanings.

 

As well as the aptly explosive dance and stage effects, the success of the work also stems from the music and sound effects that evoke tremendous emotional tension. XENOS features live performance by five international musicians — percussionist B C Manjunath, vocalist Aditya Prakash, bass player Nina Harries, violinist Clarice Rarity and saxophonist Tamar Osborn.

 

In an interview, Akram Khan said that the word “xenos” expands into “xenophobia”. Xenophobia was a symptom that prevailed before the First World War and before the Second World War, when there was a strong sense of distrust and exclusion among people. In the past few years, the London-raised choreographer has witnessed the resurgence of xenophobia, which has been brought to light by the Brexit controversy in particular. “In London, I never really felt that much like a foreigner or a stranger,” he said. What Khan describes, however, does not only happen in London — everybody is a foreigner, as we live in an era of chaos in which societies worldwide are being torn apart by conflicts and opposing views.

 

“Whose war? Whose fire? Whose hand is this?” These questions are not only for the Indian soldiers in the work, but also for everyone in the audience.

 

 

Catherine Yau

Catherine Yau is a veteran art critic and dance educator, and a guest lecturer at the Education University of Hong Kong.

 

Appreciation Articles Co-ordinated and Edited by

                    

Critic's Guide II (Available in Chinese only)

DATE
VENUE
PRICE
15.11.2019 (Fri) 19:30
16.11.2019 (Sat) 19:30
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
location
$520, $420, $350, $280, $200
DATE
15.11.2019 (Fri) 19:30
16.11.2019 (Sat) 19:30
PRICE
$520, $420, $350, $280, $200
DATE
VENUE
PRICE
26.10.2019 (Sat)
15:00
9/F Forum, eslite Causeway Bay store,
Hysan Place, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
location
Free Admission
DATE
26.10.2019 (Sat)
15:00
PRICE
Free Admission

DATE
VENUE
PRICE
16.11.2019 (Sat)
11:00
GR1, 6/F, Grand Theatre Backstage, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$100
DATE
16.11.2019 (Sat)
11:00
PRICE
$100

Some $200 seats may have partly restricted view 

 

Tickets available from 5 Jul onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on internet, mobile app and credit card telephone booking.

 

Discount Schemes

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients.  Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first come, first served basis.

Group Booking Discount *

For each purchase of standard tickets for stage programme(s) in the ‘Beyond Multi-arts’ Series, the following concession applies:

10% off for 4-9 standard tickets; 15% off for 10-19 standard tickets; 20% off for 20 or more standard tickets.

‘Beyond Multi-arts’ Series Package Discount*

For each purchase of standard tickets for different stage programmes in the ‘Beyond Multi-arts’ Series, the following concession applies:

10% off for any 2 programmes; 15% off for any 3 programmes; 20% off for 4 or more programmes.

 

‘Beyond Multi-arts’ ‘Beyond Special’ Package Discount*

30% off on each purchase of full-price tickets of both XENOS by Akram Khan Company (UK) and Puz/zle by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (Belgium) from 1 September onwards.

 

*Not applicable to tickets for all lectures and workshops in the ‘Beyond Multi-arts' Series.

 Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount offers.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

 

Internet Booking www.urbtix.hk

Credit Card Telephone Booking 2111 5999

Mobile Ticketing App My URBTIX

Ticketing Enquiries 3761 6661

Programme Enquiries 2268 7323

 

The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute artists.

The programme does not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

 

DATE
VENUE
PRICE
26.10.2019 (Sat)
15:00
9/F Forum, eslite Causeway Bay store,
Hysan Place, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
location
Free Admission
DATE
26.10.2019 (Sat)
15:00
PRICE
Free Admission

Speakers: 
Stella Lau (Senior Lecturer, Ballet Department of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts)
Dominic Wong (Assistant Artistic Director, City Contemporary Dance Company)


26/10 (Sat) 3-4:30pm

Eslite Causeway Bay Store

9/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

 

Conducted in Cantonese

 

Free Admission.  Limited quota for participants available on a first-come-first-served basis

DATE
VENUE
PRICE
16.11.2019 (Sat)
11:00
GR1, 6/F, Grand Theatre Backstage, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$100
DATE
16.11.2019 (Sat)
11:00
PRICE
$100

Date:  16 Nov 2019 (Sat)
Time: 11:00am
Venue: GR1, Level 6, Grand Theatre Backstage, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Fee: HK$100
Conducted in English
Recommended for ages 12+

 

Tickets available from 9 August onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet, by Mobile Ticketing App and Credit Card Telephone Booking.


Discount Schemes

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients.  Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first come, first served basis.

 

Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
  • date15.11.2019 (Fri) 19:30
    16.11.2019 (Sat) 19:30
  • price$520, $420, $350, $280, $200
BUY TICKET
XENOS - House Programme
DATE
VENUE
PRICE
15.11.2019 (Fri) 19:30
16.11.2019 (Sat) 19:30
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
location
$520, $420, $350, $280, $200
DATE
15.11.2019 (Fri) 19:30
16.11.2019 (Sat) 19:30
PRICE
$520, $420, $350, $280, $200
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