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'What you cannot imagine': Spirituality in Akram Khan's Vertical Road

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Abstract:

This article considers the interface between artistic and spiritual enquiry through an examination of Vertical Road (2010), an ensemble performance work by the British contemporary choreographer Akram Khan. Khan is well known for his cross-cultural explorations, critical appreciation of which has tended to focus on the hybrid nature of his movement vocabulary and aesthetic. This article considers the intercultural nature of his work in terms of the ideas, beliefs and values that it embodies. In particular, it examines Vertical Road in relation to some key tenets of contemporary progressive spirituality. It suggests that Vertical Road provides a poetic and insightful reflection on our contemporary spiritual condition.

Keywords: Akram Khan; choreography; contemporary dance; creativity; intercultural performance; spirituality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/jdsp.4.1.43_1

Affiliations: De Montfort University

Publication date: 2012-08-30

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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