By Royona Mitra
Via seven key case reports from Khan's oeuvre, this ebook demonstrates how Akram Khan's 'new interculturalism' is a problem to the Eighties western 'intercultural theatre' undertaking, as a extra nuanced and embodied method of representing Othernesses, from his personal place of the opposite.
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Extra resources for Akram Khan: Dancing New Interculturalism
By locating his diasporic body within a contested landscape that has long disenfranchised the migrant communities who inhabit it, the dance-film becomes a political intervention. In the spirit of auto-ethnography through the artefact of the dance-film both the enquirer – Khan – and the subject of his enquiry – his own lived conditions – are one and the same. In Chapter 4, using postcolonial theorist Homi Bhabha’s influential concept of the third space, I conduct a comparative analysis between Zero Degrees (2005) and Desh (2010).
These are crucial in the new context of globalisation and super-diversity and are set out below: • • • • • Identity as a dynamic concept From ‘race’ to recognition of all other forms of difference From national to global/international drivers of difference New power and political structures An inter-disciplinary approach. (Cantle, ‘About Interculturalism’) Cantle suggests that while past models of multiculturalism have essentialised identities on the basis of race alone, thereby treating identitypositions as fixed, interculturalism considers all forms of diversity in relation to identity including gender, sexual orientation, class and faith.
Unlike the intercultural theatre-makers of the 1980s Khan’s embodied new interculturalism manifests itself in his practice as both a dancer and a choreographer, shaping both the aesthetic and the content of his art. It is this embodied reality that I want to emphasise in theorising new interculturalism as I delineate it from the intellect-driven spirit that fuelled intercultural theatre of the 1980s. Intercultural theatre and Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata Theatre scholar Erika Fischer-Lichte reminds us that the term intercultural theatre was introduced relatively recently to theatre studies around the 1980s (Fischer-Lichte 1).
Akram Khan: Dancing New Interculturalism by Royona Mitra