Review: Akram Khan & Nitin Sawhney in Confluence at Sadler's Wells

Performance: 20 - 24 July 2010
Reviewed by Sejal Harji - Wednesday 18 August 2010

Akram Khan and Nitin Sawhney 'Confluence' 20-24 July, Sadler's Wells. Photo: Elliott Franks

Reviewed: 21 July

Confluence [kon-floo-uhns]

  • - noun*

1. A coming together of people or things; concourse.

A music and dance collaboration from Nitin Sawhney and Akram Khan did exactly what the package said. This astounding traditional and contemporary combination had the audience transfixed to the stage and on the edge of their seats, fully deserved the standing ovation they received. An hour and a half of *Confluence* flashed by in what felt like a few seconds.

I have always been a fan of Sawhney’s wonderful and almost hypnotic musical style which borrows vocals and instrumentals both from Indian musical tradition and contemporary Western genres. I had, however, never experienced Khan’s spectacular and mesmerising work. Khan pushes the boundaries of human movement through his electric and flexible dance – spinning so fast Khan merely becomes a blur or intertwining his hands so that he dissolves into waves. When this incredible talent for dance is combined with Sawhney’s powerful music, the result is spellbinding.

Confluence explores the themes of self reflection and creativity, as both Khan and Sawhney look back at past experiences and bring these into their dance and music. Occasionally coming together with an ensemble of dancers and musicians, both artists demonstrate their magical solo capabilities, and coming together to perform some duets of spoken words.

The main appeal of Confluence lies in the raw approach to music and dance. Sawhney’s creative musical style and Khan’s imaginative movement are enough to get lost in without the need for distractions such as costumes, or a set.

The performance builds to a climax which leaves the audience fascinated. There is no doubt that the whole collaboration is a spectacle to think about and reflect on, but is also there to feel, hear and enjoy in the moment!

Sejal Harji wrote this review for as part of her Silver Arts Award

“more reviews of Confluence from November 2009”:

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