Akram Khan—whose bahok will be performed this Wednesday (tomorrow) at the Northrop, (co-presented by the Walker)—explained in a recent Chicago Tribune interview that the idea for bahok came from an experience of being “stuck in an elevator in Japan, surrounded by people from different cultures, in different cultural costumes. I wanted to explore that sense of people trapped and unable to get back home. I travel a lot, and it’s very much about how I feel these days, how we encounter people, how we cross paths by coincidence, and wondering if that crossing was meant to happen, if something bigger than ourselves is involved.”
bahok—for anyone wondering—will be a strongly narrative work. More than any other performance presented by the Walker this season, except perhaps Ragamala’s Dhvee , bahok joins dance together with theater, and in a uniquely modern synergistic fashion. Where Dhvee was a story told through dance, bahok will be a dance piece with story elements. In fact, the Chicago Sun-Times said yesterday that bahok possesses “A brilliant sense of all the essential elements of theater.”
I found an interesting Walker connection with this video:
Akram Khan says that he is influenced by Saburo Teshigawara, whose Miroku solo dance work will be performed at the Walker in April. Even though bahok may not have been the piece specifically influenced by Teshigawara, it will be interesting to compare bahok with Miroku, to see if any traces of Teshigawara’s aesthetic have had a repercussive effect.
Reviews of bahok’s current tour in the U.S. have been overwhelmingly positive: the L.A. Times said that “the dancing contained the veins of gold”, and that “bahok was crafted with such superior quality, it made one believe that anything is possible.”
Tickets are still left for Wednesday’s show. There will only be one performance, so don’t miss it.