This production is a partial adaptation of Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, a retelling in verse of the Mahabharata by Karthika Naïr (HarperCollins India, 2015 & Arc Publications UK, 2016).
Production initiated by the 360° Network of round artistic venues across the world.
Produced during residency at Sadler’s Wells London and Curve Leicester.
Co-produced by Roundhouse/Sadler’s Wells London, MC2: Grenoble, La Comète Châlons-en-Champagne, Théâtre de la Ville/La Villette Paris, Danse Danse/TOHU Montréal, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, New Vision Arts Festival Hong Kong, Taipei Performing Arts Center, Movimentos Festwochen Wolfsburg, Brighton Festival 2016, Maison de la Culture d’Amiens, Concertgebouw Brugge, manège, scène nationale – reims, Holland Festival Amsterdam, Romaeuropa Festival, Curve Leicester
Sponsored by COLAS
Created with generous support from The Quercus Trust
Supported by Arts Council England
Akram Khan is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells London and Curve Leicester.
Special thanks to Marcus Davey, Alistair Spalding, Nikolai Foster and Curve team, Philippe Bachman, Hervé Le Bouc, Sophie Sadeler, Béatrice Abeille-Robin, Lady Angela Bernstein, Mr. & Mrs. Khan, Yuko Khan, Saju Hari, Mavin Khoo, Ushma William, Jayne Stevens, Louisa Robey, Bethany Storie, Pei-Shan Su, Natalie Roberts
Duration: approximately 1 hour, with no interval
Message from COLAS
Since 2010, Akram Khan Company and Colas have been traveling the same road, side by side. DESH, iTMOi, TOROBAKA, Vertical Road: each of the choreographer’s works combines traditions and cutting-edge innovation, drawing upon the strength of deep roots united with the necessary evolution of a message anchored in today’s society.
The clear break from the past appears at the very beginning of the piece, because, for the first time ever, Akram Khan conveys the voice of a woman, the author of Until the Lions, a work in which women have been placed at the heart of an epic Indian tale, a role traditionally bestowed solely upon men. Akram Khan reveals his heroine, then gradually transforms her into warrior determined to fulfill her destiny, thus restoring her status, as well as giving her a major role in the Mahabharata tradition.
The female character Amba does not have the right to combat the one who has offended her. Yet a thirst for vengeance transforms her into a man-warrior, giving her the power to fight her battle and free herself. Above and beyond the narrative, the power of transformation is central to Khan’s new choreography. Triggered by the characters’ determination and obsession with their target, the desire to be at peace with our own ethics changes that which we take for granted and transformation becomes inevitable.
As is often the case, Akram Khan’s intention has an eerie echo in the business world: transforming traditional codes is more topical than ever. Transformation is a necessary step in development, as both a source of impetus and a springboard to renewal.
In the current economic context, Colas has chosen to proudly assert its corporate values, as a responsible, innovative and pioneering enterprise, by mobilizing its innovative talents to meet the need to reinvent ourselves.
Hervé Le Bouc, Chairman & CEO