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UCSB Arts & Lectures Presents Akram Khan Company Performing Revival of Critically Acclaimed ‘Kaash’

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Akram Khan Company performing the first-ever revival of its full-length piece, Kaash, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 at The Granada Theatre.

Artistic Director Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today and is the acclaimed choreographer behind the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.

Akram Khan originally teamed up with the celebrated talents of composer Nitin Sawhney and sculptor Anish Kapoor to create Kaash, his company’s first full-length piece, in 2002. That same year it won the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography.

Now, Kaash returns to the stage for the first time in this stunning revival. Kaash, meaning “if only” in Hindi, is inspired by creation and destruction, Hindu gods, Indian time cycles and black holes.

Described as “deeply focused and grandly beautiful” (The Telegraph, U.K.), Kaash continues Khan’s quest to bridge the worlds of contemporary dance and the Indian classical dance form kathak.

Says Khan: “As our first full-length company piece back in 2002, where I had the great opportunity of collaborating with Anish Kapoor and Nitin Sawhney, Kaash holds a very special place in our journey and in our hearts, and I am excited that it is now our first ever revival. Our new five-strong cast of international performers will shed another light and energy on the piece, focused on physicality and precision, that I believe still has all its relevance…” 

Described by the Financial Times as an artist “who speaks tremendously of tremendous things,” Khan has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the arts in little more than a decade. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as Laurence Olivier Award-winner DESH (2011), iTMOi (2013), Vertical Road (2010), Gnosis (2009) and zero degrees (2005).

Khan’s work is recognized as being profoundly moving, in which his intelligently crafted storytelling is effortlessly intimate and epic. 

British film and artistic director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) asked Khan to create a work around the theme of mortality for the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. The resulting piece, performed to Emeli Sandé’s song "Abide with Me" (interpreted by man to honor the 7/7 London terror victims), was received with unanimous acclaim and is among his career highlights. Watch it here.

An instinctive and natural collaborator, Khan has been a magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines. His previous collaborators include the National Ballet of China, actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, choreographer and dancer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, singer Kylie Minogue, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Timmy Yip, writer Hanif Kureishi and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost.

Khan has been the recipient of numerous awards, 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 Herald Archangel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival, the South Bank Sky Arts Award and several Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.

Khan was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to dance in 2005. He is also an Honorary Graduate of Roehampton and De Montfort Universities and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban.

Khan is an associate artist of Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London.

Akram Khan Company: Kaash is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures. Click here to watch a trailer.

Tickets range from $35–$45 for the general public and $19 for UCSB students with a current I.D. A Granada facility fee will be added to each ticket price.

For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805.893.3535 or purchase online at www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.

The UCSB Arts & Lectures Dance series is sponsored in part by Annette and Dr. Richard Caleel, Margo Cohen-Feinberg and Robert Feinberg and the Cohen Family Fund, and Dorothy Largay and Wayne Rosing.

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges the generous support of SAGE for its major corporate support of the 2015–16 season.

— Caitlin O'Hara is a senior writer and publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.

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