World Première: 21 February 2018, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens


Whose war?
Whose fire?
Whose hand is this?
Xenos by Jordan Tannahill


We are extremely excited to announce Akram’s most anticipated new solo, XENOS, which will mark his final performances as a dancer in a full-length piece.

In this brand-new work commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, Akram draws on the archives of the 20th century, and gives voice to the shell-shocked dream of a colonial soldier in the First World War. XENOS reveals the beauty and horror of the human condition in its portrait of an Indian dancer whose skilled body becomes an instrument of war.

Akram’s movement language shifts between classical kathak and contemporary dance. XENOS takes place on the border between East and West, past and present, mythology and technology, where humanity still stands in wonder and disarray.

Akram has brought together a stellar creative team. Along with dramaturg Ruth Little and acclaimed Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill, he teams up with German designer Mirella Weingarten, award-winning lighting designer Michael Hulls, costume designer Kimie Nakano, and composer Vincenzo Lamagna.

Akram will be joined onstage by five international musicians: percussionist B C Manjunath, vocalist Aditya Prakash, bass player Nina Harries, violinist Andrew Maddick, and saxophonist Tamar Osborn.


Delve into the beautiful digital journal here to see the process and experimentation of XENOS…


Photos by Nicol Vizioli



Director/Choreographer/Performer Akram Khan

Set Designer Mirella Weingarten
Lighting Designer Michael Hulls
Costume Designer Kimie Nakano
Original Music Score composed by Vincenzo Lamagna
Dramaturg Ruth Little
Writer Jordan Tannahill
Rehearsal Director Mavin Khoo

Dancer Akram Khan
Musicians Nina Harries, Andrew Maddick, B C Manjunath, Tamar Osborn, Aditya Prakash

Producer Farooq Chaudhry
Associate Producer Lindsey Dear
Technical Director Richard Fagan
Technical Coordinator John Valente
Stage Manager Marek Pomocki
Lighting Engineer Stéphane Déjours
Sound Engineer Julien Deloison
Project/Tour Manager Mashitah Omar


Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary

Co-producers Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, The Grange Festival Hampshire, Sadler’s Wells London, New Vision Arts Festival Hong Kong, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, National Arts Centre Ottawa, Shanghai Performing Arts Centre, Centro Cultural de Belém, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Grec 2018 Festival de Barcelona, HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden, Edinburgh International Festival, Adelaide Festival, Festival Montpellier Danse 2018, Julidans Amsterdam, Canadian Stage Toronto, Romaeuropa Festival, Curve Leicester.

Sponsored by COLAS

Supported by Arts Council England

Akram Khan is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells London and Curve Leicester.

Produced during residency at The Grange, Hampshire and Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens

In the press

The Guardian: Akram Khan to retire from full-length dance performances by Mark Brown (9 Oct 2017)

“Transformation is always violent, even if it is not physically it is emotionally violent. What is important is to know what you want to do before you change.”

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