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bahok “contains the veins of gold”

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 […]

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.”

Visit the Walker Channel for an in-depth interview with Akram Khan, as part of local choreographer Justin Jones’ Talk Dance podcast series.

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.

  • Alanna says:

    Fresh from the show:
    Bahok was a great project–perfect.
    Perfect dancing. Perfect sound score and a perfect blend of theatrical elements that was inspiring and thought-provoking.
    Bahok is set in a metro waiting area where all parties’ transportation has been delayed. Above the performers is a huge, digitized monitor displaying a cascading and rapidly changing sequence of letters that reveal a message, sometimes vexing, humorous and poignant. (Think: The Matrix in presentation). The performers play on their nationalities, some S. Korean, Indian, Slovakian, etc.

    The scene begins rather pedestrian, how the dancers are sprawled across the space. Unfolding, some are on “mobile” phones (laugh here: Saju does an excellent job!), reading a newspaper, or nodding off, while a small, white woman (Spanish dancer, Eulalia Ayguade Farro) runs about, flipping, walking, tumbling; she is consumed by a bunch of torn papers she is very protective about–becoming aggressive with anyone who touches or moves her papers. Relationships form. The power is in the juxtaposition between the natural, human reactions elicited by the performers and heightened for stage, and when these moments are fleshed out, when the moments become a dance–heavy, robust dancing that is completely satisfying to watch. Akram Khan keeps the viewer’s eyes selective in how he organizes bodies in space. At the same time, I enjoy watching the random scratching, sniffs and gestures from the peripheral bodies. Poignant, humorous and candid moments unfold (among them, Ms. Farro’s monologue and Ms. Winlock’s and Young-Jin Kim’s interview at Customs) to reveal a piece that seems throughly created from the personal lives of the dancers. Their memories and relationships tell a story about the similarities foreigners share, the things that bind us all together and a common thread of home.

    Compelling. Honest. Thought-provoking. Live theater.

    Thank you A.K.

  • Jesse Leaneagh says:

    Many people I’ve spoken with loved the score, and I agree, the music was perfect. Would love to be able to get the soundtrack somehow. Nitin Sawhney was responsible for the sound…so perhaps an investigation of his released albums will yield some similar gems.

  • Michele Steinwald says:

    Review on mnartists.org: http://www.mnartists.org/article.do?rid=258532