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Akram Khan: Until The Lions, London, January 2016


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Foteini Christofilopoulou was at the rehearsal at the Roundhouse, for Akram Khan's 'Until the Lions'.
Here are a few of sample photos...

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Akram Khan, Ching-Ying Chien
© Foteini Christofilopoulou.
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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Christine Joy Ritter, Akram Khan, Ching-Ying Chien
© Foteini Christofilopoulou.
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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Akram Khan, Christine Joy Ritter
© Foteini Christofilopoulou.
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

See more...
Set from DanceTabs: Akram Khan Company: Until the Lions
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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Not sure if it's OK to comment on a preview, but if so... I saw this on Saturday evening, and it was amazing. Superbly danced and incredibly powerful. If I hadn't read the programme I don't think I would have had a clue about the specifics of the story (in fact, even having read the programme I didn't know what was actually going on for most of the time). But the general theme/s (love, hatred, revenge, power etc) did emerge gradually (though I don't think the much-touted gender issues came across much for me, except in that Amba's revenge was only possible in a male form). But visually and emotionally it was absolutely fascinating and built up to a terrific climax. I hadn't been to the Roundhouse for many years, and it's a brilliant venue - atmospheric and intimate, in spite of its size. Very effective and imaginative sets and beautiful music/singing from the four actors in the cast. Khan's choreography/staging stunning. A piece that would repay many viewings; but sadly, no more possible for me!

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Lucky you!! It is totally riveting. (It only lasts about an hour - when I found out that, I felt slightly aggrieved beforehand since that's not exactly a full evening offering; but in the event it didn't matter at all since it was so gripping that time was irrelevant.)

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No, I deliberately booked at the front because I was wary of the pillars. I think that they might possibly interfere a bit if you were sitting at certain points in the curve of the circle, but I didn't get the impression that they would be a big problem from anywhere. But it would be interesting to hear how it is if anyone does sit further back.

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Everybody who hasn't seen it yet, go and buy a ticket at once (if there are still any to be had).

 

This is by far the best contemporary piece I've seen for a long time. It's an exciting, compelling and powerful work, from the incredibly strong dancers to the musicians to the stage design and lighting.

Khan's ability to go from complete stillness to a frenzy of movement baffles me everytime I see it.

 

I had a seat in the second row, everything happening on and around the stage gripped me and held me tight until the last second.

 

The Roundhouse Theatre is a magical place in itself.

I loved to see that the audience was quite young with many black and asian people who were very attentive (no phones etc) and responsive.

 

And when it was all over, I stumbled dizzily downstairs and nearly fell over Tamara Rojo who had a cute fur cap on her head and Isaac Hernandez at her side :blink: .

 

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  • 9 months later...

I saw Until the Lions in Leicester on Thursday evening.

 

It is a privilege to see Akram Khan dance; he has a remarkable quality of movement.  He was equally matched by  Ching-Ying Chien and Christine Joy Ritter.  It was a pleasant surprise to see 4 live musicians not only accompanying but participating in some of the action.

 

Until the Lions is based on an extract from the Mahabharata about the final battle of Amba/Shikhandi and Bheeshma.  Amba is the "spirit " of Shikhandi who spurs him on to revenge her wrongs by Bheeshma.

 

It is an incredible, intense hour with the choreography to my eyes being a mix of contemporary and classical Indian dance with a twist.  I was quite overwhelmed by the experience and am very glad I made the effort to go and see it.  I think this was the only UK date since the Roundhouse and it is due to tour France.  If you are anywhere near a theatre where it is on, do go and see it.

 

As an aside Vincenzo Lamagna was the composer and one of the musicians and I could sense some of the work that went into Giselle in this score.  The choreography also features sticks similar to those used by the Wilis.

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