Download Akram Khan: Dancing New Interculturalism by Royona Mitra PDF

By Royona Mitra

Via seven key case reports from Khan's oeuvre, this ebook demonstrates how Akram Khan's 'new interculturalism' is a problem to the Nineteen Eighties western 'intercultural theatre' venture, as a extra nuanced and embodied method of representing Othernesses, from his personal place of the opposite.

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In this it is similar to his collaborator from Zero Degrees (2005) Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s postulations on conceiving the self as both one and many Others: You are never just one thing, one character, one function but rather each of us has the ability to perform many different functions, within a project but also in life. By recognizing this multiplicity in oneself, you realise that ‘the Other’ (being the other performer, the new culture you discover, or the audience even) is often buried somewhere inside you too.

Menski 12) Examining this issue of visibility in the context of the contemporary British (and international) art world, Kobena Mercer echoes Menski’s concerns in noting that ‘although cultural difference is now more visible than ever before, the unspoken rule is that you would look a bit dumb if you made a big issue out of it’ (Mercer, ‘Ethnicity’ 193). Mercer’s and Menski’s observations about this oscillating nature of making difference visible in both the British and the international domain raise interesting questions about what constitutes too much visibility and what is visible enough, and indeed who judges this sliding scale.

3. While the Western starting point for intercultural theatre has often been to adapt non-Western texts (such as The Mahabharata) with a view to extrapolating their innate universalism, Khan chooses to work with personal stories (sometimes his own and sometimes others’) and cultural exchanges that operate primarily at a corporeal level. In focusing on more microcosmic, personal and embodied starting points, Khan’s works are ironically often more accessible and less threatening to the source culture/s.

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