Posted on February 22, 2012

As part of the partnership between Katara, the Cultural Village and The British Council, the residents of Qatar and for the first time ever, will get the chance to enjoy the ‘Vertical Road’ spectacular dance show by Akram Khan.

The show will be hosted at Katara on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th of February at  the Drama Theatre Building 16. Pre-show discussions and talks inspired by the content and artistic process of the work will take place in building 15 at 7 pm before the show starts at 8pm.


“Vertical Road” has recently received the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for 2011 as the best modern choreography. Akram Khan Company has also been awarded with several prestigious honours including The Age Critics Award for Best New Work (Vertical Road) at the 2010 Melbourne Festival and the Helpmann Award for Best Choreography in Dance Work (zero degrees) at the 2007 Sydney Festival.

Akram Khan Company has assembled a cast of very special performers from across Asia, Europe and the Arab World, including two dancers from Egypt and Algeria, Salah El Brogy and Ahmed Khemis.


Farooq Chaudhry
, the producer of “Vertical Road” who will be giving the pre-show talk commented on his experience after previous performances in other Arab countries saying, “Akram and I have always been fascinated by the Arab culture. The positive reviews I received were a further testimony that audiences in the Arab world are passionate, curious, culturally sensitive and aware of their own humanity. Their reflections and interpretations of the show made me realise why they are a nation of poets.”

With a specially commissioned score by long-term collaborator composer, Nitin Sawhney, Vertical Road contemplates the universal role of stories of angels as found in different cultures, faiths and mythologies as intermediaries between the human and the sacred. Exploring man's earthly nature, his rituals and the consequences of human actions, Vertical Road becomes a meditation on the journey from gravity to grace.

 “Vertical Road’s physical power is irresistible” David Dougill, The Sunday Times.

Akram Khan was trained in contemporary dance as well as in classical dance style called Kathak and brought an experimental approach to his choreography that quickly marked him out as a highly distinctive choreographer with an international appeal.


“Kathak’s dynamism – its circular movement and gyroscopic balances, its tension and release – are part of what most attracts Khan to the style. He also finds it highly adaptable.” Sanjoy Roy.

Public Relations Manager at Katara, Sameera Al Mansouri said, “We at Katara are proud to host this show. Akram Khan Company is renowned for its intercultural, interdisciplinary collaborations and for challenging conventional ideas of traditional dance forms, which meets Katara’s view to promote cultural awareness and introduce international cultures to Qatar.”

British Council Qatar Director Mr Simon Winetroube commented, "The Vertical Road performance in Qatar is part of the British Council’s New Work New Audiences Arts project which allows audiences in the Middle East and the UK to experience the power of Arts in developing cultural understanding, trust and dialogue. We were delighted when Vertical Road was chosen as the first preference by our partners, Katara."

"Akram Khan not only represents the best of the contemporary UK Arts scene but also his cross cultural approach, embracing other cultures and their dance traditions, is perfect for the British Council as a cultural relations organisation and for today’s Qatar where so many different cultures are represented.”

Tickets for the show are available at Virgin Megastores at both Landmark and Villaggio outlets. They can also be purchased online at www.virginmegastore.me.

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