Outwitting the Devil

World Première: 13-14 July 2019, COLOURS International Dance Festival, Stuttgart


“I have awakened to a new way of dancing. And that is to dance my ideas through the bodies of others, including older dancers, who carry their histories and complex emotional experiences within them. But what remains unchanged is my passion for exploring old and new myths in the context of our times.” – Akram Khan


We are thrilled to announce our new Company production Outwitting the Devil. Stirring classical and contemporary, Akram Khan shares a new exploration of redefining our oldest rituals in the midst of our ever-changing planet.

Haunted by Leonardo Da Vinci’s iconic mural of The Last Supper, Akram recalls studying the painting as a child and feeling unable to see himself reflected in it. Later in life he encountered the radical reinterpretation of the work, ‘The First Supper’ by Australian artist Susan Dorothea White, portraying 13 women from around the world. The figure in the position of Leonardo’s Christ is an Aboriginal woman, and the only white woman in the painting sits in the same position as Judas, the betrayer. Freeing himself from the classical version, Akram recognised an artist’s journey and challenge to convention which was parallel to his own.

To weave the narrative and design of this new piece, Akram has invited his close collaborators: dramaturg Ruth Little, composer Vincenzo Lamagna, rehearsal director Mavin KhooKimie Nakano as costume designer, Jordan Tannahill as the writer – joined by lighting designer Aideen Malone and visual designer Tom Scutt.

Akram brings together an ensemble of six artists, encompassing great differences in their performance techniques and sharing a distinctive practice: Ching-Ying ChienAndrew PanDominique PetitJames PhamMythili Prakash and Sam Pratt.

"Ever since I entered the classical Indian dance world, I have been searching for a way out.... or perhaps more truly, I was searching for a new way in."



Artistic Director/Choreographer Akram Khan

Dramaturg Ruth Little
Lighting Designer Aideen Malone
Visual Designer Tom Scutt
Original Music Score and Sound Design Vincenzo Lamagna
Costume Designer Kimie Nakano
Writer Jordan Tannahill
Rehearsal Director Mavin Khoo

Dancers Ching-Ying Chien, Andrew Pan, Dominique Petit, James Pham, Mythili Prakash, Sam Pratt

Producer Farooq Chaudhry
Technical Manager Tina Fagan
Production Manager Florian Stagliano
Project/Tour Manager Mashitah Omar

Co-produced by Sadler’s Wells London, La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand, scène nationale, COLOURS International Dance Festival 2019 – Stuttgart, Théâtre de Namur – Centre Scénique.

Supported by Arts Council England


by Maxime Dos

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