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Akram Khan and musicians (including the triple-threat Yoshie Sunahata – see story — on taiko) performing Khan’s “Gnosis.” Photo courtesy Theatre de la Ville. Photo © & courtesy Laurent Ziegler.
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2010, 2016 Paul Ben-Itzak
Originally published on May 11, 2010; appropriately enough, Martha Graham’s birthday. The Theatre de la Ville presents the Akram Khan company in Khan’s “Until the Lions” December 5-17 at La Villette and in his “Chotto Desh” December 21-January 6 at the les Abbesses in Montmartre.
“You can’t always get what you want But if you try sometimes, you might get what you need.”
— The Rolling Stones
PARIS — About a year ago, Akram Khan, the London-based choreographer with a penchant for mixing up Kathak and modern dance — actually more of an enterprise, with three companies touring his work — traveled to Sado Island in the north of Japan in search of a male taiko drummer to collaborate with for his latest piece, “Gnosis,” which opened last night at the Theatre de la Ville – Abbesses in Montmartre as part of a world tour (excluding the U.S., but we’ll get to that). “I wanted a man,” he recounted to last night’s audience towards the end of part one, featuring Khan engaged in interplay with a musical ensemble including two male singers (Faheem Mazhar and Sanju Sathai), and players on the tabla (also Sathai), the string instrument the sarod (Soumik Datta), the Taiko drums (we’ll get to her), and cello (Lucy Railton). “They kept telling me, ‘No, you want this girl.'” They are Kodo, the renowned Japanese drumming group. The girl was Yoshie Sunahata, a.k.a. the latest performing arts triple threat and the most thrilling discovery I’ve made 10 years covering dance in France.
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