One of the highlights of the festival, acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan will present his new Kathak work ‘Gnosis’ at Birmingham’s Town Hall on 7-8 May. Following its successful premiere at Sadler’s Wells, this is the only other chance to see the performance in the UK before it embarks on an international tour.
In a performance that was described by Luke Jennings, Dance Reviewer at The Observer, as “the most enthralling programme of dance I have seen this year,” the Akram Khan Company return to Birmingham to present a story of four parts, told through the most expressive of classical Indian dance moves. Based on the notion of ‘knowledge within’, Gnosis sees the story of a profound transformation of four characters who express themselves through dance.
Akram Khan has developed his choreography alongside internationally-renowned Kathak masters Sri Pratap Pawar and Gauri Sharma Tripathi, with a band of musicians that includes Yoshie Sunahata, a taiko drummer from Japanese company KODO.
IDFB has also teamed up with sampad, a development agency for South Asian arts based in Birmingham, for two performances at The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome.
On 13 May, Thresh Dance Company presents ‘Absent Lover’, a modern interpretation of a 5th Century classic Sanskrit play. A story of love and loss, nymph Urvashi runs away in a fit of jealous rage and is immediately taken in by the magic of nature, driven from realistic to fantastic ‘mind trips’. The second sampad performance is ‘Kathak Duet’ from Abhimanyu & Vidha Lal on 14 May. The dance duo from Delhi are rising stars in the Kathak community and will accompanied by acclaimed classical Indian musicians on the sitar and tabla for this one-off show.
Taking place from 19 April – 15 May, the second International Dance Festival Birmingham has seen a range of performances, workshops and masterclasses take place across the city. Some of this year’s highlights include the World Premiere of Rosie Kay’s ‘5 SOLDIERS’, a season of exclusive performances from South Africa and the Middle East for ‘Outspoken’, and a special appearance by Carlos Acosta alongside the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
IDFB 2010 is co-produced by DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome, and is funded by Advantage West Midlands, Arts Council England WM and Birmingham City Council. IDFB is also working in partnership with the West Midlands Culture Programme for London 2012.
For more information on the festival line-up and to buy tickets, visit www.idfb.co.uk.