By Royona Mitra
Via seven key case reports from Khan's oeuvre, this booklet demonstrates how Akram Khan's 'new interculturalism' is a problem to the Eighties western 'intercultural theatre' venture, as a extra nuanced and embodied method of representing Othernesses, from his personal place of the opposite.
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These are crucial in the new context of globalisation and super-diversity and are set out below: • • • • • Identity as a dynamic concept From ‘race’ to recognition of all other forms of difference From national to global/international drivers of difference New power and political structures An inter-disciplinary approach. (Cantle, ‘About Interculturalism’) Cantle suggests that while past models of multiculturalism have essentialised identities on the basis of race alone, thereby treating identitypositions as fixed, interculturalism considers all forms of diversity in relation to identity including gender, sexual orientation, class and faith.
Barthes claimed that this empowered the reader to become an active agent in completing the text itself. Khan’s new interculturalism creates such writerly texts by enabling his audiences to interact with his art at intimate and visceral levels in a way that intellect-driven intercultural theatre resisted. 6. Finally and perhaps most importantly, Khan’s engagement with otherness operates in fundamentally different ways to the appropriation of otherness in intercultural theatre. Khan’s new interculturalism deploys othering as an aestheticisation process and a conscious dramaturgical strategy through which he and his audiences encounter multiple versions of his self.
She reminds us that the relationship between the physical and the psycho-emotional is fundamentally interactive, as ‘the psychical manifests itself in the physical and the physical can evoke the psychical’ (Vatsyayan 19).
Akram Khan: Dancing New Interculturalism by Royona Mitra