Artist Development

I want to develop a sense of collective and thought-provoking mentorship where artists are given a chance to invest and investigate a much-needed creative and critical space within a challenging context for the arts.”
– Akram Khan


Akram Khan Company is committed to create space to welcome and hear the voices of other artists. Nurturing, care and encouragement of creatives of all generations is one of our strongest values. Bridging artists and creatives from plural backgrounds and culture is one of our ambitions.

In his role as Sky Arts Ambassador, Akram Khan together with the Company have developed an Artist-development programme to provide support and mentoring to three UK-based dance artists. This 6-month programme will give them the rare opportunity to investigate stories and themes from their own work as part of a research & development (R&D) phase, before delving into their creative process. We measure the value of R&D and we are aware that allocating resource for this is a rarity in the performing arts world, especially in these current times. Throughout a meaningful and thorough approach, the programme will provide financial subsidy; shadowing and observation opportunities in the studio with Akram and his creative team; one-to-one mentoring sessions with Akram and the AKC team; collective sessions to encourage shared practice and professional networking; financial support to attend these collective sessions.

This Programme is an opportunity for us to engage with artists whose work is rooted in different traditions and practices, and explores themes that are part of the fibre of Akram’s work such as gender fluidity, our relationship to nature, and sense of belonging and identity. We are particularly interested in hearing the voices of dance artists that develop their work on their own body.



– Artists will receive a financial subsidy of £6,000 each towards the R&D of their work/research/specific project

– Artists will participate in one-to-one mentoring sessions with Akram Khan and AKC Creative Associate Mavin Khoo throughout the 6-month mentoring period

– Artists will have access to the support of AKC office staff through one-to-one or small group sessions

– Artists will be invited to attend two collective sessions in London (May 2021 and November 2021 TBC) organised by AKC to bring them together to observe Akram’s R&D and Company projects and to develop collective mentoring and shared practice as a dance artists cohort. These sessions will allow mentees artists to network with other international artists and creatives.

Providing that the health situation allows travel between UK cities and studio work:
       – First collective session in May 2021 – observation of a R&D period and introduction of the artists’ cohort. Networking and shared practice.
       – Second collective session in November 2021 – follow up on the R&D phases of the artists projects/ideas and collective sharing of the experience with invited partners, presenters, artists during AKC 20th anniversary celebration at Sadler’s Wells, London.



2021 Timeline 

29 January  |  Launch of the application process
15 March  |  Deadline for applications
15 March – 30 March  |  Interviews of a shortlist of applying artists
w/c 4 April  |  Announcement of the successful artists
May to November  |  6-month mentoring period
4-5 days in May  |  Provisional Collective London-based session 1
4-5 days in November  |  Provisional Collective London-based session 2




In order for an application to be considered, the artist must comply with the following criteria:

– Being a dance artist developing work on their own body
– Being UK based
– Having at least 3 years of professional experience
– Artist’s body of work revolves around one of the following themes: Gender fluidity, our relationship to nature, sense of belonging and identity

There is no age limit and we are very interested to hear from different generations of artists.



Application process

To submit your application to the Artist-development programme, fill in the Google form HERE.

If you have any questions or issues, please email

"By providing three UK-based dance artists with R&D periods and support, I want to help them further deepen their practice and strengthen their own voice." – Akram Khan
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