For the first time ever on a soundstage, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is hosting the highly acclaimed Akram Khan Company for its premiere off-campus production this Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 18 to 21, at 8 p.m. at the Culver Studios in Culver City.
“Until the Lions” is the re-imagining of an excerpt from the epic Sanskrit poem, the “Mahabharata,” through a synthesis of kathak — the Indian classical dance form — and contemporary dance. The new work abstractly explores gender identity, spirituality and passion. Tapping into universal themes of love and revenge, the evening-length dance tells the epic story of a woman’s abduction on her wedding day, being stripped of her honor and, in response, invoking the gods to even the score.
Performed by one male and two female dancers, the production also includes contributions from previous award-winning collaborators in music, writing, visual and lighting design, and dramaturgy. The decision to embark on this West Side pilgrimage, The Music Center On Location™, allows the creators to transform the space into an immersive environment. The open staging will also feature a mechanical structure that resembles a cross-section of a 30-foot tree trunk that will have its own role in the production.
The Akram Khan Company has been to Southern California recently to present its family-friendly dance and new media event, “Chotto Desh.” But this is the first time in 10 years that it has returned with an adult adventure. The uniqueness of the experience sounds compelling enough, but this writer also remembers Khan’s previous visit to the area as being one of great movement innovation and outstanding performances.
—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA
The Culver Studios are located at 9336 Washington Blvd., Culver City 90232.