The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) integrated the third season of World stage programme on Friday with the “Vertical Road”, the contemporary ensemble work by the world acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan.
For more than 70 minutes, audience at Abu Dhabi Theatre held their breath enjoying a powerful performance by a group of magnificent dancers took the stage.
The World Stage initiative, launched by ADACH in October 2009, seeks to provide the best in world music through the performance of a series of contemporary concerts through out the year with the hope that this will increase awareness and enhance public understanding of the unifying force of music throughout the world.
“Vertical Road” is a continuation of Khan’s ambition to explore the interfaces between different cultures and creative disciplines. He brings together a host of performers and artists from the East and West.
Co-produced by the ADACH, Curve Theatre at Leicester, Sadler’s Wells London, the Theatre de la Ville, Paris, the National Arts Centre, Ottawa and the Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona, the event is supported by Arts Council England.
The show is the third international show and the first in the Arab World.
Khan assembled a cast of very special performers from across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. With a specially commissioned score by long-term collaborator composer, Nitin Sawhney, “Vertical Road” draws inspiration from both the Sufi tradition and the Persian poet and philosopher Rumi.
Khan is one of the most acclaimed choreographers of his generation working in Britain today. Born in London into a family of Bangladeshi origin, he began dancing at seven and studied with the renowned kathak dancer and teacher Sri Pratap Pawar.
In August 2000, he launched Akram Khan Dance Company with producer Farooq Chaudhry, which has provided him with a platform for innovation and a diverse range of work through collaboration with artists from other disciplines.
In 2011, Khan will continue touring with his latest creation “Gnosis” in which he combines his classical Indian and contemporary dance roots.
His recent work In-I, a duet with Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche with visual design by Anish Kapoor, undertook a major international tour last year, finding its way to Abu Dhabi.
In 2006 Khan was invited by Kylie Minogue to choreograph a section of her Showgirl concert, which opened in Australia in November that year.