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 eighteen 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 an associate artist at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London and Curve Theatre in Leicester.
2019: The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2018, Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer (Akram Khan), Best Modern Choreography (XENOS), Emerging Artist Award (Maya Jilan Dong)
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