The dancer-choreographer will appear in XENOS in 2018, a fitting bookend to his Australian appearances.

Akram Khan, one of the most celebrated dance artists of his generation, will perform his final full-length solo work, XENOS, at Adelaide Festival in 2018. Co-commissioned by the Festival, the three performances of XENOS will be Australian audiences’ final chance to see the production with Akram Khan performing his own choreography. The 43-year-old recently announced that he will retire from full-length performances, although he will continue to dance smaller roles and make the occasional cameo. XENOS, which has its world premiere at Athens in February, will be seen in Europe, North America and Hong Kong after its run in Adelaide.

XENOS. Photo supplied.

“It is an absolute thrill to present XENOS in our 2018 programme,” said Adelaide Festival Joint-Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield. “Akram is one of the world’s most captivating male dancers, and this venture is all the more poetic as it will be the last time audiences will be able to see him perform solo.”

In XENOS, Khan uses the myth of Prometheus to explore the experience of a shell shocked Indian soldier trapped in a trench during World War One. He has united an award-winning creative team for Xenos, including dramaturg Ruth Little and acclaimed Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill. Khan will be joined onstage by five international musicians: percussionist B C Manjunath, vocalist Aditya Prakash, bass player Nina Harries, violinist Andrew Maddick, and saxophonist Tamar Osborn.

Khan’s return to the Festival represents a fitting conclusion to his solo career. He last performed in Adelaide 10 years ago alongside Sylvie Guillem in Sacred Monsters, and his first professional performance aged 13 was in Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata, famously staged at the Anstey Hill Quarry for the 1988 Adelaide Festival.


XENOS plays at the Adelaide Festival from Mar 16 – 18, 2018.

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