News: Svapnagata

Tuesday 19 May 2009

One of the highlights of this Autumn’s season at Sadler’s Wells (on sale now), is a two week festival of Indian dance and music curated by long time collaborators and friends dancer and choreographer Akram Khan and composer Nitin Sawhney. It’s a continuation of their highly successful creative relationship, which has produced several award winning shows in the last few years, including zero degrees (2005) and bahok (2007).

*Svapnagata* (meaning ‘dreaming’ in Sanskrit) will bring together over 60 Indian and British Asian performers for a wide ranging programme in the main house and the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells. Dance highlights include former Pina Bausch dancer Shantala Shivalingappa, presenting Shiva Ganga, a solo evening of the classical southern Indian dance form kuchipudi and emerging British kathak dancer Aakash Odedra; musicians include international Sitar star and Grammy nominee Anoushka Shankar and former child prodigy and electric mandolin player U Shrinivas. British Asian actor Riz Ahmed will be presenting an evening of music in the Lilian Baylis Studio under his alter ego title Riz MC. Sawhney and Khan say they are excited and proud to be working on Svapnagata*. “*_Although all the artists have a strong base in South Asian Arts and heritage, their work is universal, contemporary, globally relevant and ultimately entrenched in the language of humanity”_ says Sawhney.

The curators open the festival with an evening each – Khan is returning to his classical kathak roots with a new solo piece inspired by the Mahabharata called Gnosis and Sawhney presents an acoustic evening of his own music with a multinational line up of musicians. The festival will culminate in Confluence, a new collaboration between the two artists, which will look back at their creative partnership and friendship and also include a new work.

Full Svapnagata programme details

Other highlights of the season include In the Spirit of Diaghilev – which marks the centenary of the formation of the Ballet Russes by making new work which reflects on that extraordinarily creative time. Choreographers Javier De Frutos, Wayne McGregor, Russell Maliphant and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui will all contribute to an evening of work. More on the Ballet Russes centenary.

For full programme listings – which include the return of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – go to

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