World premiere: 15 Sept 2011, Curve Theatre, Leicester
London premiere: 4 Oct 2011, Sadler’s Wells, London
Duration: 80 minutes with no interval
DESH is a new full-length contemporary solo and the most personal work to date from celebrated choreographer and performer, Akram Khan. DESH meaning ‘homeland’ in Bengali, draws multiple tales of land, nation, resistance and convergence into the body and voice of one man trying to find his balance in an unstable world.
Moving between Britain and Bangladesh, Khan weaves threads of memory, experience and myth into a surreal world of surprising connection. At once intimate and epic, DESH explores fragility in the face of natural forces, and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in the rhythms of labour, in dream and story, and in transformation and survival.
For this production, Khan teams up with Oscar-winning visual artist Tim Yip (Production Designer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), fellow Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist lighting designer Michael Hulls, writer and poet Karthika Nair and Olivier award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook.
‘Those transparent Dacca gauzes
known as woven air, running
water, evening dew.’ (Agha Shahid Ali)
Direction, Choreography and Performance Akram Khan
Visual Design Tim Yip
Music Composition Jocelyn Pook
Lighting Design Michael Hulls
Stories imagined by Karthika Nair and Akram Khan
Written by Karthika Nair, PolarBear and Akram Khan
Dramaturge Ruth Little
Creative Acting Director Zoë Nathenson
Eshita’s Voice Sreya Andrisha Gazi
Jui’s Voice Eesha Desai
Visual Animation created by Yeast Culture
Set Construction Sander Loonen (ARP Theatre)
Sound Design Nicolas Faure
Costume Supervisor Kimie Nakano
Technical Director Fabiana Piccioli
Rehearsal Director Jose Agudo
Technical Coordinator Sander Loonen
Sound Engineer Marcus Hyde
Light Technician Stephane Dejours
Stage Technician John Valente
Tour Manager Mashitah Omar
Producer Farooq Chaudhry
Akram Khan gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the following artists:
Damien Jalet (devised Painted Head Sequence with Akram Khan), Leesa Gazi (Culture Coordinator / Voice Artist), Steve Parr (music recording and mixing), Samuel Lefeuvre, Nicola Monaco, Andrei Nazarenko, Sebastien Ramirez, RootlessRoot (Linda Kapetanea & Jozef Frucek), Shantala Shivalingappa, Kate Braithwaite, Sue Buckmaster, Renee Castle, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Daniel Hart, Syed Shamsul Haq, Chris Janschke, Labik Kamal, Urmee Mazher, Bhasker Patel, Shamsur Rahman and the singers Sohini Alam, Natacha Atlas, Melanie Pappenheim, Jeremy Schonfield and Tanja Tzarovska.
Akram Khan is an Associate Artist of MC2: Grenoble and Sadler’s Wells, London in a special international co-operation.
Sponsored by COLAS
Co-produced by MC2: Grenoble, Curve Leicester, Sadler’s Wells London, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Concertgebouw Brugge
Produced during residencies at Curve, Leicester and MC2: Grenoble
Akram Khan Company acknowledges the support of the Bangladesh High Commission, London
Special thanks to Michel Orier, Paul Kerryson, Alistair Spalding, Béatrice Abeille Robin, Mr & Mrs Khan, Raihana Ahmad, Shahidul Alam, Eeshita Azad, British Council Bangladesh, Ruby Ghuznavi (textile curator), Irene Lu, Tareque Masud, Ramendu Majumdar (ITI), Susan Mearns (ActionAid), NariMaitree, Eela Muhaimin, Shlomo, Anne-Marie Bigby, Amy Hollis, Gemma Ottey and Yohan Zeitoun.
Trailer of the documentary on DESH produced by Lardux Films and directed by Gilles Delmas