Guy Time

The Home Team and the Visitors Soothe the Maelstrom

Akram Kahn appeared at the Kitchen as part of the UKwithNY festival. Born in London to Bengali parents, he infuses a contemporary sensibility with Indian traditions gleaned from the Kathak style, which he has studied and also performs. This meld means not only that he can go from rhythmic stamping to a flying assemblé battu, but that dives and rolls are contained by Asian conventions of rhythm and design. His positions are always clear in space, end-stopped, often as two-dimensional as a temple relief. But he is just as likely to scrabble on the floor as to stand and wheel his arms expansively. Solid yet pliable, capable of ferocious bursts of rapid motion and of sinuous calm, Kahn has an animal's serenity and capacity for suddenness. In Fix and Loose in Flight, his gaze shifts cleanly like a Kathak performer's, but instead of focusing on his own gestures, he may gaze into distant space. Loose, with its curious ending (he shakes his lifted arm as if scolding it), is especially compelling.

Reward strategy: Corella (left), Kent, and Herman Cornejo in Stanton Welch’s Clear at ABT
photo: Ellen Crane
Reward strategy: Corella (left), Kent, and Herman Cornejo in Stanton Welch’s Clear at ABT

Andy Cowton's electronic landscape, plus unexpected blackouts and changes of light (by Michael Hulls) shape Rush, an absorbing trio for Kahn, Gwyn Emberton, and Moya Michael. Never touching, the three move in and out of unison, often on the floor—prowling precisely, barreling across the space. There's no particular build to what they do and no narrative—just a dramatic weave of powerfully constructed phrases that stir up stillness and then return to it.

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