Thursday, 23 June 2016

25th of September 2014
Auditorium Conciliazione (Italy)
(1hr 10mins, no intermission)

Energy, combination, amazing, complicity, echo, sounds, lights,repetitive and dull. This is Torobaka .

In this performance we saw the collaboration between two greats artists, Akram Khan and Israel Galvan.
The title of their “challenge”, Torobaka,  evoke the bull and the cow, sacred animals of the two dancers’ traditions, such as their two completely different dance styles, kathak and flamenco, to create something totally new and with impact.The idea was to create something new but related to their origin.They make a duo,but most of the time it may perceive as a duel,a challenge,a comparison between the two. There might be similarities between their dance forms ,but their personal styles are really different. Galván is all appearance, energetic and  speed. Khan, by contrast, keeps his power and his posture,he’s smooth, clear and serious.
The two performers dance inside a magic circle,created by the illusion of the light, in which they are allowed to do whatever they want. The lighting is  absolutely“artistic” ,creates an atmosphere that makes you remember the arena. There are live musicians, Manjumath and Bobote and two singers.Despite the idea of live music is exciting ,become repetitive and boring for the insistent and predominant sound.

At first it seemed to be a really ingenious work, for the atmospherethey created,for the idea of live music and for the virtuosity that may have these two great artists, but after a while it became a bit disappointing, because flat and stagnant. The performance doesn’t has a development maintains the same level of energy and quality of movement.
The show itself — despite the power of Galván’s and Khan’s— now seems mannered and predictable, and not what one thinks of a characteristic of either flamenco or kathak. Perhaps there could be a bit more of madness by the two,in the sense of daring more, try different things to get a result that would go to grow, also because both are exceptional.
There isn't an authentic contact with the public, but this could be a choice made from them, but this leads to the growth in the viewer that feeling of discomfort.
Is definitely to see, are magnificent artists with great and many ideas. The way perhaps to approach this performance is to think that maybe this is a first draft to be defined and that could be better . You shouldn't have expectations, but the curiosity to see a show that includes two great artists, and two traditions that hard to see together .

World Premiere: 2 June 2014, MC2: Grenoble, France Tour dates of the piece :

Created and Performed by
Akram Khan & Israel Galván
Music arranged and performed by
David Azurza, Bobote, Christine Leboutte, B C Manjunath, Bernhard Schimpelsberger
Lighting Designer Michael Hulls
Costume Designer Kimie Nakano
Sound Designer Pedro León
Lighting Stéphane Déjours

If you are interesting in which way they created the piece there is a web documentary ,that explores the collaboration between the two artists. It also tracks their journey in making the work in London, Barcelona and Grenoble. Showing rehearsals, excerpts of the performance and backstage moments.

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