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Meaning-Making in Dance: Methods for Interpreting Akram Khan’s XENOS

Sunday, March 3rd 2019, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
ASUC Student Union: Martin Luther King Jr. Building, 2495 Bancroft Way Berkeley, CA 94704

As part of the weekend-long resiency around Akram Khan's XENOS, the Center for the Arts & Religion is hosting a panel discussion in partnership with UC Berkeley's Cal Performances.

Akram Khan uses a variety of creative tools to choreograph his new solo XENOS, including classical kathak and contemporary dance, the archives of Indian soldiers fighting for Britain during World War I, and mythological drama. This panel provides exploratory questions for audience members to make personal connections with the work. 


Carla De Sola, Center for the Arts & Religion/Graduate Theological Union

Atreyee Gupta, UC Berkeley Dept. of History of Art 

Anusha Kedhar, UC Riverside Dept of Dance 

SanSan Kwan, UC Berkeley Dept of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies

Mario Teló, UC Berkeley Dept of Classics

Moderated by Michelle Summers, UC Berkeley Dept of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies & Center for Arts & Religion/Graduate Theological Union

British (by Bangladeshi descent) dancer/choreographer Akram Khan is revered for physically demanding, visually spellbinding solo productions which combine Indian kathak with modern dance in works of sublime storytelling. Seen here in an exclusive West Coast engagement, XENOS is Khan's final solo creation before his planned retirement from solo performance. A powerful work that reveals the beauty and horrors of the human condition through the myth of Prometheus, it is told from the perspective of an Indian soldier recruited to fight in the trenches of World War I for the British Crown. "Xenos" means "stranger" or "alien" in Greek, and Khan's work bravely explores the soldier's alienation as he is trapped between two cultures in the colonial system. Performed with live musical accompaniment. "A work of incredible potency, of emotional and cultural depth that sings and surges with the confidence of an artist at the peak of his powers" (The Stage, London). More info: