The English-Bengali Akram Khan, the Israeli Ohad Naharin and the Belgian-Moroccan Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: three choreographers who find themselves on the border between East and West, have chosen this balancing act as their common theme.
With his unique dance style rooted in classical Indian kathak dance, Khan explores the limits of the Western dance idiom. With Kaash Khan presents a personal, original vision of Shiva. Akram Khan approaches this god of both destruction and creation, traditionally synonymous with a deeply rooted past, from the opposite perspective: what are our potentials for the future? Artist Anish Kapoor translates this transcendent theme into a poetic stage design and the English-Indian composer Nitin Sawhney creates musical parallels with the powerful austerity of Khan’s abstract language of movement.
Secus - Ohad Naharin
An abstract choreography about power and extremes in the virtuoso lexicon of movements that Naharin personally created and named ‘Gaga’. In Secus, the boundaries are explored between the explosive and the delicate through the concept of exaggeration and understatement. Secus is a key work in the oeuvre of Ohad Naharin and takes the dancer’s own breaking of boundaries as its theme.
Requiem - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
A new creation to the Requiem by Gabriel Fauré, supplemented with eastern-inspired compositions by Wim Henderickx, performed live by HERMESensemble. In addition to the dancers of Royal Ballet Flanders, Cherkaoui will also bring the Chorus and Children's Chorus of Opera Vlaanderen to the stage. This Requiem is all about blending, with great respect for the various traditions. The Requiem as a serene and contemplative plea for the emancipation of humankind.
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"Requiem reborn with Eastern-inspired take on traditional mass"
In keeping with the theme, Cherkaoui’s own contribution is far from a simple interpretation of Fauré’s decidedly French music – with Flemish composer Wim Henderickx creating a new, Eastern-inspired orchestration of the score. “We had wanted to work together for a very long time, as we share each other’s passion for the East and West, for these different cultures,” says Henderickx.
The final version now begins and ends with Henderickx’s own music, featuring various interventions along the way. “The whole piece became something new,” he says. “Of course it is based on the Requiem, and I didn’t touch Fauré’s melodies or harmonies, but, on the other hand, it’s a new project. The music turns into another world, into a contemporary world that is also inspired by the Middle East.”