iTMOi | Akram Khan Company

6-7th March, 2014 | Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Grand Theatre.

As a dance piece, iTMOi is the most theatrical of Khan’s performances to date, and shows a sensibility that seems to owe more to Robert Wilson than it does to even the progressive choreography of the original Rite of Spring.

In the Mind of Igor reimagines Stravinski’s Rite, with new music and choreography, borrowing from the Bible and Greek myth to re-examine human sacrifice from its inception. We begin with an incredible rasping, inhumanly vocalised interpretation of God’s injunction to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. The violence of an Old Testament god is brilliantly captured in the movement and delivery. We come to another human sacrifice, possibly echoing the Iphigenia myth, who after her own sacrifice supplants the sacrificing Goddess (Artemis?). This is a theatrical composition that is visceral and moving for its imagery and choreography rather than its narrative. The costumes and folk elements seem to be inspired by Russian (or Georgian?) traditional dance.

The music is original and it’s varied atmospheres serve the piece well. A Kyrie further serves the religious theme, but this is all about the performances and not the ultimately in memorable recorded soundtrack of the three composers. This very much an original work freely reimagining whatever Igor had in his mind. I found it thought provoking and enjoyed the form Khan found, beyond the virtuosity of the performers, in playing with chaos and structure. I hope to see more of what Khan can do in this direction.

About Ivor Houlker

Ivor runs Rooftop Productions in Hong Kong, a theatre company known for multidisciplinary contemporary work. He trained as an actor at Rose Bruford College, and completed his MA in performance at Goldsmiths College, London.

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