tim yip for akram kahn

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Apologies for my unannounced disappearance. If you follow me on Instagram, you'd know about a certain little distraction which has been keeping me busy. 

I’ve also been on an extreme Arts Festival binge. Oh Melbourne, sometimes you stress me out with your outpouring of events. For me, this year's festival highlight has been the visual design for Desh, a show performed and choreographed by Londoner, Akram Kahn. The show explores Akram Kahn's personal stories of his Bangledesian roots.

Whilst the whole show was a visual feast, one of the final scenes was simply phenomenal. Designed by Tim Yip, a dense assembly of hanging fabric strips slowly lowered onto the stage, casting kaleidoscopic shadows on its decent. The strips alluded to the "sky grass" mentioned in the one of the shows many tales. Once lowered to the floor, the fabric spanned from floor to ceiling and covered the full depth of the stage. The fabric billowed as the hidden dancer shifted through the forest of fabric, causing moments of glow in places where the strips had been disturbed. As the fabric raised slowly again, it revealed the dancer, suspended upside down within the fabric structure, gliding through and between the sky grass. It was truly a spectacular sight. I do believe I was gripping my armrest and holding my breathe as the whole thing unfolded.

Unfortunately the showings in Melbourne are over. However, you can watch the a video preview here. Neither these images nor the video quite capture the full magic of the final scene so if this show is ever touring in your hood, make sure you nab yourself a ticket (and errr...sorry for the total spoiler).

Images via Akram Kahn. Photography by Richard Haughton.


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