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MA (article first published : 2005-02-21)

British Council brings South Bank Centre Associate Artist Akram Khan and his multi-national company of ten performers to Durban for one performance only in the Playhouse Drama on February 26 to perform their biggest production to date: ma, which is an ambitious integration of dance, text and live music in which he explores issues around motherhood and the fragile connections between people and their land.

ma takes novelist Arundhati Roy’s essays on farmers forcibly ejected from their lands in India as one of its inspirations. In a piece of richly theatrical dance, exhilarating sequences of speed and stillness combine with text penned by acclaimed writer Hanif Kureishi, music composed by composer Riccardo Nova and sculptured lighting by Mikki Kunttu.

Akram Khan has become one of the most prodigious young choreographers on the global stage today. For ma, he has assembled a group of collaborators from Britain, Finland, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, Slovakia, South Africa and Spain to continue his celebrated exploration into the Indian and Western dance and music aesthetics that shape his choreographic style.

Performing alongside the dancers as an integral part of the show are a Pakistani vocalist with a classical Sufi style of singing; a UK cellist, and a South Indian percussionist. The rich symbolism of the Indian musical language and its intimate relationship to the dance is enhanced by the use of the mridangam (a South Indian drum), here replacing the tabla which traditionally accompanies kathak - the ancient North Indian style that underpins all of Khan’s work.

ma also features recorded music by the Brussels-based Ictus Ensemble, known for its collaborations with renowned Belgian dance company, Rosas.

ma is co-produced by the South Bank Centre (London), Singapore Arts Festival, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Romaeuropa (Rome) 2004, The Vooruit (Gent), Tanzhaus nrw (Dusseldorf), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Goteborg Dance and Theatre Festival and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (New York). The Akram Khan company is in the country to perform at the FNB Vita Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg.

The single performance of ma takes place at 19h30 in the Playhouse Drama on February 26.

Tickets R50 at Computicket and Dial-A-Seat. There is a concession for members of KZN Dancelink – R25 a ticket which can be booked at the Playhouse Computicket box office only.

For further information visit www.akramkhancompany.net




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