Celebrity Series of Boston
Akram Khan & Israel Galván, Torobaka
February 27-28, 2016 — Citi Shubert Theatre
(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present the Boston debut of Torobaka by Akram Khan & Israel Galván. The performances will take place on Saturday, February 27 at 8pm, and Sunday, February 28 at 3pm at the Citi Shubert Theatre, 270 Tremont Street, Boston, MA. The Dance Series is sponsored by the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation & the John S. and Cynthia Reed Foundation.
Tickets start at $50, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling Citi Charge at 866-348-9738, or at the Citi Shubert Theatre Box Office, 270 Tremont Street, Boston.
With this artistic exchange, Khan and Galván have incorporated elements of Kathak and Flamenco to create something altogether distinct, defying classification or genre. Torobaka brings these two highly celebrated and respected dancers together to bring to life the ancient historical link between the musical and dance traditions of Southern Spain and Northern India. Rather than mimicking one another or simply performing the classical dances, the two dancers seek to create something new, current and contemporary, by better understanding each other’s approaches.
Torobaka takes its name from a Maori-inspired phonetic poem by Tristan Tzara. The bull (toro) and the cow (vaca) are sacred animals in the dancers’ two traditions, and represent the coming together of dance styles. The name also refers to a 1920 Dadaist poem by Romanian French avant-garde performance artist Tristan Tzara which inspired the dancers in their collaboration. The poem evokes the oral vocalisation of rhythm through particular syllables and phonetics, which is typical in both kathak and flamenco.
The dancers are accompanied by four vocalists and percussionists from Spain, Belgium and India.
Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists working today. In just over a decade he has created an imaginative, highly accessible and relevant body of work, including productions such as DESH, Vertical Road, Gnosis, zero degrees, and part of the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Israel Galván, a multi-award-winning flamenco dancer, is known for his innovative choreography and exquisite dancing technique, and has been at the forefront of contemporary flamenco for 20 years.
Akram Khan said: “Torobaka has been a journey full of subtle discoveries. The piece is constantly changing, because we are students of change, and only by telling and re-telling our stories do we truly begin to understand them. I am thrilled to share with the audience the infectious rhythms of the mighty traditions of kathak and flamenco.”
Galván says: “Many people are not aware of the shared historical roots of kathak and flamenco, and with Torobaka Akram and I have redefined the boundaries of our own respective dance traditions. We always hope it proves an equally enriching encounter for our audience.”
A web documentary explores the collaboration between the two artists and tracks their journey in making the work in London, Barcelona and Grenoble. Showing rehearsals, excerpts of the performance and backstage moments, the films give viewers an insight into Akram and Israel’s perspectives in developing a duel/duet in which their different cultures meet and confront one another. Watch the documentary.
The program is 75 minutes without intermission.
About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 77-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.
The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 77 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere. For more information on Celebrity Series of Boston, call (617) 482-2595 or visit us online at www.celebrityseries.org.
The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger, Leslie & Howard Appleby, The Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, the Boston Cultural Council, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, EMC, Foley & Lardner LLP, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, The Royal Little Family Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Joseph McNay, Stewart Myers, the National Endowment for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, PTC, The John S. and Cynthia Reed Foundation, The D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp., the Stifler Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Henri A. Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis, Tufts Health Plan, Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.