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Press Release: Akram Khan & Israel Galván, TOROBAKA, Sadler's Wells, 3-8 November

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Akram Khan & Israel Galván
UK Premiere
Sadler’s Wells
Monday 3 - Saturday 8 November 2014
Performances at 7.30pm (except Thursday)
Tickets: £12 - £38
Ticket Office: 0844 412 4300 or www.sadlerswells.com  

Akram Khan and Israel Galván present the UK premiere of their collaboration TOROBAKA, a Sadler’s Wells co-production, at Sadler’s Wells from Monday 3 - Saturday 8 November 2014.

With this new artistic exchange, Khan and Galván have brought together elements of kathak and flamenco to create something altogether distinct, defying classification or genre.

This is the first time these two highly celebrated and respected dancers have worked together. The result is a show which aims to bring to life the ancient historical link between the musical and dance traditions of Southern Spain and Northern India. But rather than mimicking one another or simply performing the classical dances, the two dancers seek to create something new, current and contemporary, by better understanding each other’s approaches.

The name TOROBAKA refers to the sacred animals of the two dancer’s respective traditions – the bull (in Spanish, toro) and the cow (in Spanish, vaca) – and represents the marriage of the two cultures and histories on stage.

The name also refers to a 1920 Dadaist poem by Romanian French avant-garde performance artist Tristan Tzara which inspired the dancers in their collaboration. The poem evokes the oral vocalisation of rhythm through particular syllables and phonetics, which is typical in both kathak and flamenco. The dancers will be accompanied by vocalists and percussionists from Spain, Belgium, India and the UK.

Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan is one of the most exciting UK dancers today and has, in just over a decade, created a highly imaginative, accessible and relevant body of work, including productions such as DESHVertical RoadGnosis and zerodegrees.

The multi-award-winning Israel Galván has been at the forefront of contemporary flamenco for 20 years and had appeared several times at Sadler’s Wells’ Flamenco Festival. He is known for his innovative choreography and exquisitely daring dancing technique.

Khan says: “Many people are not aware of the shared roots of kathak and flamenco. But one need only compare a Spanish dancer performing a bulería with an Indian dancer performing a tukda to see the relationship between the two. My collaboration with Israel has therefore been tremendously exciting, and a profound learning experience for both of us. We hope it proves an equally enriching encounter for our audience.”

Galván says: “It is always an honour to grace the Sadler’s Well’s stage at the Flamenco Festival. And now, I’m thrilled to be able to bring such an exciting new project to the London audience. Akram and I are trying to redefine the boundaries of our own respective dance traditions, in what we hope is a truly one-of-a-kind collaboration."

As well as TOROBAKA, this Autumn Akram Khan will be performing DESH at The Lowry, Manchester, on 13 & 14 November. Khan is also curating his first exhibition as part of The Lowry's Performer-as-Curator series. His exhibition, One Side to the Other, runs from 15 November 2014 to 1 Feb 2015. He returns to Sadler’s Wells from 25 to 29 November 2014 in Sacred Monsters, alongside Sylvie Guillem.

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