In July 1999 in the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, an animated and curiosity-filled conversation took place between the young gifted dancer/choreographer Akram Khan and an ambitious former dancer and just recently graduated arts manager Farooq Chaudhry. That conversation laid the foundation stone for a dynamic collaboration, culminating in the creation of Akram Khan Company one year later.
Inspired by Akram Khan’s early training in the Indian classical dance form Kathak, and the hybrid language that organically emerged when Akram’s kathak training encountered contemporary dance in his teens, a vision began to form, fuelled by a desire to learn and create through collaboration with the very best people across all the disciplines in the arts.
The rules were simple: take risks, think big and daring, explore the unfamiliar, avoid compromise and tell stories through dance that are compelling and relevant, with artistic integrity.
In just over seventeen years Akram Khan Company is now undisputedly one of the foremost innovative dance companies in the world. The programmes range from kathak and modern solos to artist-to-artist collaborations and ensemble productions. The company has a major international presence and enjoys busy tours that reach out to many cultures and peoples across the globe. Akram Khan has been the recipient of numerous international dance awards, the most notable being an Olivier Award for his solo production DESH in 2012.
A milestone in the company’s journey was the creation of a section of the London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in 2012.
Akram Khan Company is currently practitioner-in-residence at University of the Arts London, and enjoys artistic association with Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London and other leading venues and festivals around the world.
Akram Khan Company produces thoughtful, provocative and ambitious dance productions for the international stage.
Akram Khan takes human themes and works with others to take them to new and unexpected places – embracing and collaborating with other cultures and disciplines.
The dance language in each production is rooted in Akram Khan’s classical Kathak and modern dance training and his fascination with storytelling. The work continually evolves to communicate ideas that are intelligent, courageous and new, bringing with it international acclaim and recognition as well as artistic and commercial success.
2017: The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2016, Outstanding Female Performance (modern) for Until the Lions (Ching-Ying Chien)
2017: Eastern Eye Arts, Culture & Theatre Awards 2017 for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and Choreography (Akram Khan)
2016: Production of the Year by German magazine tanz (Until the Lions)
2016: Get Creative Family Arts Festival award for Best Event (Chotto Desh)
2015: Honorary Doctorate of Music, University of London (Akram Khan)
2015: Fred and Adele Astaire Award for Best choreographer in a feature film for Desert Dancer (Akram Khan)
2015: 15th Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2014 for Best Modern Choreography (Dust, as part of Lest We Forget)
2014: Bessie Award for Outstanding Production, New York (DESH)
2014: The Herald Archangel Award, Edinburgh International Festival (Akram Khan)
2013: Knight of Illumination Award, Best Lighting Design in Dance for iTMOi (Fabiana Piccioli)
2013: 13th Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2012, Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer (Akram Khan)
2012: Olivier Awards 2012 for Best New Dance Production (DESH)
2012: 12th Critics’ Circle National Dance Award 2011 for Best Modern Choreography (Vertical Road)
2011: Distinguished Artist Award, International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), New York (Akram Khan)
2011: South Bank Sky Arts Award in Dance, UK (Gnosis)
2010: Danza & Danza Award for Best Performance in 2010, Bolzano, Italy (Vertical Road)
2010: The Age Critics Award for Best New Work, Melbourne Arts Festival (Vertical Road)
2010: Honorary Fellowship from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in recognition of outstanding efforts and unique contributions to the arts (Akram Khan)
2010: Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Roehampton University (Akram Khan)
2007: Helpmann Award for Best Choreography, Sydney Arts Festival (zero degrees)
2007: Helpmann Award for Best Male Dancer, Sydney Arts Festival (zero degrees)
2007: Excellence in International Dance Award by International Theatre Institute (Akram Khan)
2005: The Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Male or Female Artist (modern) (Akram Khan)
2005: South Bank Show Award (ma)
2005: MBE for services to dance (Akram Khan)
2004: Honorary Doctorate of Arts for his contribution to the UK arts community, De Montfort University (Akram Khan)
2004: The International Movimetos Tanzpreis for Most Promising Newcomer in Dance (Akram Khan)
2002: The Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography (Kaash)
2000: The Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Newcomer to Dance (Rush)
2000: Time Out Live Award for Outstanding Newcomer to Dance (Akram Khan in Rush)
2000: Jerwood Foundation Choreography Award (Loose in Flight)
2017: The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2016, Outstanding Male Performance (Modern) (Akram Khan), Outstanding Female Performance (modern) (Joy Alpuerto Ritter), and Best Modern Choreography for Until the Lions
2014: South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2014 Dance Category (iTMOi)
2013: The Glory of India Award – Bharat Gaurav Award
2012: Evening Standard Theatre Award (for the London Olympics Opening Ceremony)
2012: British Inspiration Awards Arts Category (Akram Khan)
2012: South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2012 Dance Category (DESH)
2012: London Dance Award 2012 (Akram Khan)
2011: Les Globes de Cristal Art et Culture Awards: “Opera or Dance Performance” (In-I)
2010: 11th Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for Outstanding Female Performance (Modern) – dancers Eulalia Ayguade Farro (Vertical Road, bahok) & Yoshie Sunahata (Gnosis)
2010: Olivier Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance – Yoshie Sunahata (Gnosis)
2010: Manchester Evening News Theatre Dance Award (bahok)
2006: Time Out Award (zero degrees)
2006: Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production (zero degrees)
2005: The Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Company Prize for Best Choreography (Modern) (zero degrees)
2005: The Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Modern) (Akram Khan Company)
2002: Best Dance Show by French Magazine Le Inrockuptibles (Kaash)
2002: Nijinsky Award for Best New Comer, Monaco Danses Forum (Akram Khan)
2001: South Bank Show Award (Rush)
2015: Associate artist, Curve Leicester
2011: Associate artist, Sadler’s Wells Theatre and MC2: Grenoble in a special international agreement
2005: Associate artist, Sadler’s Wells Theatre
2003: Associate artist, Royal Festival Hall (the first time a non-musician has been afforded this status)
2001: Choreographer in Residence, Royal Festival Hall