Large hall

Premiere - 7th April, 2022
Duration - 2h

The iconic choreographer Akram Khan has included Latvia for the first time in his world tour: in April, viewers will see his latest production, “The Jungle Book. Reimagined."

Translated from Bengali, Akram means "next to the stars," but Akram Khan himself is a star. If not the best, then certainly one of the brightest performers of contemporary dance in the world. He has collaborated with numerous outstanding ballet masters and, at some point, found the perfect one: himself. Khan's choreography has revolutionized perceptions of contemporary dance worldwide. Each of his performances is an eagerly anticipated event for audiences across all continents. Now, "Jungle Book: reimagined" (2022) is currently on a world tour. Akram Khan, along with his troupe, will arrive in Latvia in spring 2024 and will perform three shows at the Dailes Teātris on April 10th, 11th, and 12th.

Akram Khan's story began even before his birth. In 1974, his parents fled the war in Indostan to seek refuge in the United Kingdom; they were already expecting a son, but he was born in Wimbledon. This fact holds significance and symbolism for Khan's creative work. His unique artistic style has evolved from the synthesis of two equally close cultures to him—Asian and European. It reflects his quest for a universal language, one so expressive that it is understood by all and so beautiful that it captivates every heart in admiration.

Having mastered classical Indian temple dance Kathak in his childhood, Akram Khan enrolled at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds and graduated with the highest honors in its history. He stepped onto the stage as a child—naturally, in a leading role: portraying Mowgli at the London Academy of Indian Dance. At the age of 13, he participated in the iconic nine-hour-long "Mahabharata" by Peter Brook and appeared in its televised version. He further honed his skills at De Montfort University Leicester and collaborated with the eminent Belgian dancer and choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

Did he ever think about classical ballet? Yes. At 19, after watching recordings of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev, he attended his first ballet class hoping to impress everyone. "It turned out the other way around," laughs Akram Khan. "That's how I ended my ballet career." And thus, he began his journey as a choreographer.

At first, he explored the possibilities of his own body, creating solo performances. Later, he established the Akram Khan Company—shifting its lineup from project to project, selecting the best and most talented individuals from thousands of contenders.

By the early 2000s, Khan had amassed numerous accolades from British critics, becoming a leading cultural figure in the United Kingdom. He was honored with the Order of the British Empire by the Queen. Renowned ballerina Sylvie Guillem approached him with a request, leading Khan to gain insights into classical ballet and the classical body within it. He continued to dance himself, performing exquisitely, but in 2019, at the age of 45, he announced his intention not to take on the principal roles anymore (as for the rest— who knows?). He already holds the Laurence Olivier Awards and the Benois de la Danse, and there are no higher honors in the world of dance.

Akram Khan has an enormous following. Some have eagerly followed him since his early performances. Others fell in love forever after seeing "Giselle" choreographed by him. Some went even further, recognizing Akram Khan as a dancing guru, a teacher of new spirituality.

The ballet "Jungle Book: Reimagined" is a balm for the soul. It's not just an impressive example of contemporary art; it's a new perspective on a canonical story. It's a manifesto!

But if you talk to Akram Khan on a personal level, he admits that he conceived "Jungle Book" due to his memories as a ten-year-old, his love for Kipling, the Disney cartoon, and because of his children with whom he enjoys discussing everything under the sun.

It's a stroke of luck that Latvia's introduction to the renowned choreographer's work and his celebrated troupe begins with this ballet: it's a production for the entire family. "Jungle Book: Reimagined," having already made a significant impact on the world's best stages, will be showcased at the Dailes Teātris on April 10th, 11th, and 12th.


    Production team

    Choreography and direction
    Akram Khan
    Tariq Jordan
    Sharon Clark
    Original score
    Jocelyn Pook
    Sound design
    Gareth Fry
    Michael Hulls
    Visual stage design
    Miriam Buether
    Video design and animation
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