Akram Khan joins the UWS Artist-in-Residence Program

Date: 27/08/2002

The University of Western Sydney's new partnership with the NSW Ministry for the Arts has already achieved a coup, with the critically acclaimed London-based Akram Khan Dance Company chosen as its first Artist-in-Residence.

The company blends the South-Asian dance style 'Kathak' with contemporary Western modern forms. The result is the unique, flowing, cross-cultural style which has won the dance company international critical acclaim.

Its founder, award-winning choreographer Akram Khan, has been voted by critics as the most outstanding newcomer to British dance. He is also the official choreographer-in-residence at London's Royal Festival Hall.

The company relocates briefly to UWS, after successful performances this month at the Sydney Opera House.

Head of the School of Contemporary Arts at UWS, Professor Mike Atherton, says it's a unique opportunity for students to meet and learn from one of the world's most dynamic dance artists.

"The Akram Khan Dance company will spend four days this week at UWS. They will hold extensive workshops with our dancers, actors and composers, with the visit culminating in a public performance on Friday August 30 at Parramatta's Riverside Theatre," Professor Atherton says.

"The visit certainly helps emphasise the University's goal to become the major creative arts precinct in Western Sydney.

"The NSW Ministry for the Arts also recognises that UWS is a zone of cultural activity, and it is only through their assistance, and that of Ausdance NSW and Western Sydney Dance Action, that this visit has been possible."

Professor Atherton says UWS will host other high-profile visits in 2003 through its Artist-in-Residence program. Selected artists will reside in a heritage house at St Marys, and continue their creative work on-campus -- collaborating with students from theatre, music and fine arts.

"UWS is very fortunate to have the Akram Khan dance company as its inaugural artist-in-residence. We hope the program continues to go from strength to strength and our students benefit from the exposure to some of the world's top performers," Professor Atherton says.

Media enquiries:
Angela McIntyre
Senior Media Officer
University of Western Sydney
Ph. 02-9678 7424
0419 244 595