Akram Khan created this dance to express the customs, beliefs and traditions of his culture. Desh is Khan’s newest contemporary solo in which he explores his family heritage and stories that were told within the family. The dance expresses his emotions, and together with the technical graphic design elements such as the props, set and animations really enliven the piece to give it texture and meaning. The animations tell a tale that was passed down through the generations, making it vivid and enjoyable to watch.
Khan’s solo journey into his historical background is artistic and theatrical and really captures the lifestyle of Bangladesh and his imaginative interpretation shows this. He visited Bangladesh to help embody the atmosphere of the bustling country. Khan performs chaotic pathways, which represent him dodging and weaving in and out of the cars, and the music helps heighten the atmosphere using sound scores of cars beeping and motorbikes rushing past.
Collaborators such as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sylvie Guillem and Juliette Binoche, as well as taking a martial arts class has helped Khan develop his personal style to create a new genre of dance. It has also helped influence his movement and the way that he approaches different aspects of dance.
The set design, lighting and sound scores highlight the emotions and experiences that Akram Khan has explored. The lighting helps set the scene, using blues to express the monsoons, and then moving to browny-greys to show the dingy living conditions. Khan uses voice-overs to signify presence of other characters and make the dance and journey more believable.
Khan has really made a positive and inspiring discovery in the world of dance, using his heritage and background and putting his career on the line by doing so.