Akram Khan asks ‘Why Do We Dance?’ as Sky Arts launch landmark documentary series for Spring 2019
Sky Arts announces a major new
documentary series for broadcast this April; an in-depth and up-close exploration
of the motivations, provocations and stimulations that
make the human race dance.
Curated and presented by acclaimed British choreographer
and dancer Akram
Khan, the 5x60-minute series launches to European viewers on
World Dance Day (29th April 2019). Khan takes viewers on a global
journey through the most dynamic, seductive and influential dance
forms of our time, and profiles the artists redefining the artform for modern
audiences. Crossing continents and decades, on dirt floors and dance floors, in
public spaces and on the world’s great stages, Khan searches for answers to the
question: Why do we dance?
Each film combines specially-staged performances
with original contributions from some of the world’s leading choreographers,
including Wayne McGregor CBE, Bill T. Jones, Taiwan’s Lin Hwai Min, Ballet Zurich’s Christian Spuck, Kenyan choreographer Fernando Anuang’a, Indian Kathak
choreographer Aditi Mangaldas,
‘mother of contemporary African dance’ Senegalese-French artist Germaine Acogny, and the world-renowned
Seville-based perforner Eva Yerbabuena.
Styles explored range from the dark world of
Japanese Butoh to the sensual embrace of Argentine tango; the feminine power of
India’s Bharatanatyam to
‘jookin’ – the street dance sensation from Memphis, USA brought to
international acclaim via dance phenomenon Lil
To Belong – to feel part of something bigger, to find refuge and unityTo Tell Stories – from timeless love stories to origin myths, dance that tells a tale
To Touch the Soul – how dance can allow us to find peace and enter altered states, raising our spirits.
For Sex – dancing to make intimate connections, to attract a partner, to challenge sexual norms and to tease and shock.
To Provoke – dance that questions and challenges convention, pushes boundaries and sheds light on socio-political issues.
Site-specific stagings of celebrated, ground-breaking
works feature across the series, filmed from intimate 360-degree vantage
points, to provide the viewer with an entirely new and exclusiveview of
The global scope of the films is notable, showcasing
the work of choreographers from across Asia, the USA, Africa and Europe. The
themes allow for a multi-disciplinary selection of dance styles, rarely seen in
just one series, from the familiar to the uniquely niche.
Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts said: “Accessible, intelligent and inclusive,
this epic series gives dance its long-overdue moment in the broadcast
spotlight. By examining our different motivations for dancing these films capture
its universal physical language. It will not only excite the serious dance
enthusiast but connect with anyone who has ever found themselves moving to the
music or marvelling at the moves of others."
Akram Khan said:“This series
is an epic undertaking - to seek out artists from across the world and gather
not just their incredible choreography, but their different insights into the
fundamental question of why we dance. It's wonderful to see dance explored like
this on television, and to be able to work with Sky to create a program that
will be viewed by audiences across Europe.
the concept of God existed, humans have been deconstructing God, and ever since
technology existed, technology has been deconstructing the concept of humans.
However, I strongly believe that dance has the ability to reconstruct and ask
the question: 'What does it mean to be human?’. I believe this because dance is
the most truthful way I have of expressing myself and so I hope this series
connects with people in a direct and meaningful way as it does with me.”
to Editors: Why
Do We Dance? is produced by Sky Arts Production
Hub, a commissioning and production centre of excellence dedicated to creating
quality arts programmes for Sky’s 23 million customers across the UK and
Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.
Sky Arts Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated channel for the
arts. It offers something for everyone, whatever their passion, with
entertaining programmes showcasing the best of classical and popular music,
theatre, opera, dance and the visual arts, as well as original drama and
comedy. Sky Arts is broadcast 24 hours a day and has over 1,000 hours available
on catch- up TV, including flagship programmes such as Portrait Artist of The
Year, Landscape Artist of the Year and The South Bank Show.
The channel is committed to supporting the arts by
investing in the best talent, both on and off screen, as well as through
exclusive partnerships with major UK and European cultural institutions,
including National Theatre Live, Tate and The British Library.
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