Akram Khan Dance Company journeys across boundaries to create artistic narratives. They produce thoughtful, provocative and dance productions for the international stage fusing human themes and works to embrace and work with other cultures and disciplines. The dance language in each production is also rooted in Artistic Director, Akram Khan`s classical Kathak and modern dance training, it continually evolves to communicate new ideas, bringing international acclaim and both artistic and commercial success.
Intuitive apprehension of spiritual truths, an esoteric form of knowledge sought by the Gnostics. [Knowledge; esoteric and mystical]
Gnosis is a recent creation by Akram Khan in which he combines classical Indian and contemporary dance roots. It begins as Khan revisits the classical motifs of two earlier works, Polaroid Feet and Tarana. We follow him on a pathway of transformation, culminating in a shattering conclusion. Pursuing the idea of the knowledge within, it is an exploration of the inner and outer battles of characters, the human and the godly.
Drawing from sources both ancient and modern, Gnosis is also inspired by the Hindu epic Mahabharata, in particular the story of Gandhari, the wife of the blind king who blindfolds herself for life to share his journey. It explores the notion of inner knowledge and clouded vision, seeing darkness and yet being blind to light.
Khan is accompanied on stage by an ensemble of exceptional musicians from around the world and acclaimed guest artist Fang-Yi Sheu from Taiwan.
Scene 1- Ritual of Birth In the Mahabharata, Gandhari, the daughter of the king of Gandhara (now Kandahar). Forced to marry a blind prince, she blindfolds herself forever. She prays to Lord Shiva to give her children. Her prayers are answered with the birth of 100 sons and a daughter.
Scene 2 - Play of Innocence The eldest of the sons, Duryodhana, is destined to be the crown prince. He grows from a child into a young man under the guidance of his blindfolded mother.
Scene 3 - Greed and Power Duryodhana grows into a powerful man. Ambitious and greedy, he challenges his cousins, the Pandavas, to a game of dice, and wins their kingdom and their wealth. The two families fight a bloody war, which lasts 18 days. When Duryodhana asks for Gandhari`s blessing in battle, she refuses, believing the war to be wrong.
Scene 4 - Transformation from Man to Beast The war transforms Duryodhana from a man into a beast. All morality is abandoned and humanity dissolves into chaos. Gandhari`s children are killed, with Duryodhana the last to die.
Scene 5 - Mourning and Fire In her grief at the destruction of the war, Gandhari retreats into the Himalayan wilderness, where she dies with her husband and sister-in-law in a forest fire.
Akram dedicates this performance to his guru, Sri Pratap Pawar and to all the other storytellers who continue the fight to tell the myriad of wonderful myths to the audiences of today.
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23rd July, 2012, 07:00 PM Inox Milan Mall (Santacruz)
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