Akram Khan Company will present the world premiere of Akram Khan’s new work, Jungle Book reimagined – a deeply personal interpretation based on the original story of Rudyard Kipling’s much-loved family classic – at Leicester’s Curve Theatre, 2 – 9 April 2022. A UK and international tour will follow, taking in cities including Birmingham and Edinburgh.
In a near future world, a family is torn apart as they escape their homeland, devastated by the impact of climate change. Arriving alone in a deserted modern city, and with wild animals claiming the streets as their own, the child soon discovers unlikely allies in this strange new jungle.
Embedded in the roots of Kipling’s Jungle Book is the deep threat that mankind poses towards nature. In this new dance-theatre production, Khan and his team reinvent the journey of Mowgli through the eyes of a climate refugee. Featuring an original new score, ten international dancers and state-of-the-art animation and visuals, Jungle Book reimagined is a compelling and vital piece of storytelling about our intrinsic need to belong and bond with others, and placing the importance of connecting with and respecting our natural world at its heart.
A stellar creative team will be working on this reimagining of Jungle Book directed and choreographed by Akram Khan, and with script by Tariq Jordan, dramaturgy by Sharon Clark and original score by Jocelyn Pook. With sound design by Gareth Fry, lighting by Michael Hulls, visual stage design by Miriam Buether, video design and animation by YeastCulture, and the insight of film director Andy Serkis, the visual technology will turn the stage into a magical world that dives into the myths of today.
The cast of dancers include Lucia Chocarro, Tom Davis-Dunn, Thomasin Gülgeç, Max Revell, Matthew Sandiford, Pui Yung Shum, Fukiko Takase, Holly Vallis, Vanessa Vince-Pang, Luke Watson.
At the age of 10, Khan played Mowgli in Akademi’s Indian dance production The Adventures of Mowgli. Decades later, he is reuniting with this story and embracing it with a new sense of urgency. Akram Khan: “We are now living in unprecedented and uncertain times, not only for our species but for all species on this planet. And the root cause of this conundrum is because we have forgotten our connection to our home, our planet. We all inhabit it, we all take from it, and we all build on it, but we have forgotten to return our respect for it. So I believe that we must make changes from the grassroots up if we are to see a brighter future. And so I feel compelled to share the story – lovingly known as The Jungle Book – with children and adults from all cultures, in order to re-learn what we, as a species, have so conveniently forgotten. And I believe that the strongest and deepest way to tell this story is through the magic of dance, music and theatre.”
Jungle Book reimagined is recommended for ages 8+.