zero degrees is the reference point where everything begins…and everything ends'. Akram Khan
An exciting collaboration between Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi, this is an opportunity to see these remarkable artists working with sculptor Antony Gormley and composer Nitin Sawhney.
Khan and Larbi first met in 2000 when they quickly discovered strong similarities in their work. Both are sons of Islamic families brought up in Europe, and both draw upon this meeting of cultures, combining complex Indian Kathak dance with the speed and precision of contemporary movements.
zero degrees was borne out of their longing to create work together, and follows them on a journey to seek the reference point, the source, the '0' at life's core. Inspired by their own dual identities, the two search for this middle point through polar opposites; becoming/death, light/dark, chaos/order.
Creating the environment for this journey is artist Antony Gormley, most famous for his 'Angel of the North' sculpture. Working closely with the two dancers, his design will reflect the concept of duality explored in zero degrees. Specially commissioned music is by composer/producer Nitin Sawnhey. This is a rare chance to see four of today's greatest artists join forces.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Damien Jalet join forces with UK visual artist Antony Gormley to create 'Babel (Words)', a dance performance that explores language and its relationship with nationhood, identity and religion.
Taking the tale of 'The Tower of Babel' as its starting point, Gormley's huge 3-dimensional frames hint at a nameless intersection in a faceless future-city near the nowhere border of no man's land. We watch as the action flows from private to public, intimate to extrovert, and individual to collective - while choices of faith, space and community are made and we are reminded that to some the tale of Babel represents the gates to enlightenment, to others -- chaos, confusion and conflict.
As with their previous collaborations, the show is informed by a profound 'belief in the belief that something matters'. 'Babel (Words)' takes us on a search for what that might be, telling both a bold and tender story of personal, physical, cultural, political and linguistic boundaries, and guessing all the time at what it is that unites rather than divides us.
'Babel (Words)' is the culmination of three distinct journeys: firstly, it's the final part in Cherkaoui's internationally acclaimed 'Foi' and 'Myth' triptych, secondly it reunites him with Antony Gormley, following the success of 'Zero Degrees' with Akram Khan and 'Sutra' with the Shaolin Monks and finally, it honours a decade of collaboration with co-choreographer, Damien Jalet.
13 dancers and 5 musicians have been assembled from 13 countries across 5 continents to work together on a project almost as ambitious, imaginative, determined and skilled as the building of the tower of Babel itself.