Akram Khan Company announce the world premiere of ‘Outwitting the Devil’

© Jean-Louis Fernandez

Akram Khan Company have today announced the world premiere of Outwitting the Devil, a brand new production inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic mural, The Last Supper, which will premiere at the COLOURS International Dance Festival in Stuttgart from 13 to 14 July 2019.

The announcement comes six weeks ahead of Until the Lions’ homecoming to the Roundhouse in London, Khan’s first ever in-the-round work which he will dance for the final ever time.

© Jean-Louis Fernandez

Akram Khan said:

“As I arrive at the end of my dancing career, I have awakened to a new way of dancing. And that is to dance my ideas through the bodies of others, including older dancers, who carry their histories and complex emotional experiences within them. One of the seeds of inspiration for Outwitting the Devil is Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic mural of The Last Supper. This image has haunted me since I first laid eyes on it as a child. As a young British Bangladeshi boy growing up in South London, I remember seeing The Last Supper on a printed A4 page in my art class. I was told it was one of the most famous paintings in the world, and was asked to draw my own version of it. I now realise that at the time I was uncomfortable and confused by the depiction. I could not see anything of myself in it, or of the culture and religion I grew up in. It was foreign to me. Or perhaps, I was foreign to it. It did not reflect me, or the people in my street – who came from many different cultures – in any way I could relate to. Many years later, I stumbled across another version, The First Supper by Susan Dorothea White. This radical interpretation astonished me, and gave me permission to free myself from the classical version. And in this new, anti-colonial depiction, I recognised an artist’s journey and challenge to convention which was parallel to my own. Ever since I entered the classical Indian dance world, I have been searching for a way out…. or perhaps more truly, I was searching for a new way in.”

Until the Lions © Jean-Louis Fernandez

Outwitting the Devil will see Khan reunite with some of his close artistic collaborators: dramaturg Ruth Little, composer Vincenzo Lamagna, writer Jordan Tannahill, rehearsal director Mavin Khoo, and costume designer Kimie Nakano, along with lighting designer Aideen Malone and visual designer Tom Scutt.

Khan has gathered an international cast of six extraordinary performers to bring Outwitting the Devil to life.

For more information, and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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