Canadian Stage to Present TOROBAKA by Akram Khan & Israel Galvan

Virtuosic British choreographer Akram Khan returns to Canadian Stage alongside Spanish flamenco artist Israel Galván with their new collaboration Torobaka, presented in a limited four-performance run from March 9-12 at the Bluma Appel Theatre. Inspired by the rhythmic roots of civilization and the sacred relationship between the hunter and animal, this explosive dance hybrid blends Khan's trademark Indian Kathak with Galván's contemporary flamenco in a thrilling stylistic and cultural dialogue.

"Following the success of 2014's DESH, we are delighted to bring back Akram Khan and welcome Israel Galván: two masters at the top of their respective art forms," said Matthew Jocelyn, Canadian Stage Artistic & General Director. "Together, they push the boundaries of their crafts - negotiating a joyous shared language that is both technically and visually exquisite. The result is a distinctly new act of storytelling that defies classification."

Torobaka (Spanish for "bullcow", a sacred animal in both dancers' respective traditions) was born out of the shared origins of Kathak, the classical South Asian dance form at the heart of Khan's world-renowned contemporary practice, and the flamenco of Galván, celebrated internationally for his innovative choreography and masterful avant-garde technique.

Through the use of percussive footwork and rhythmic circles - accompanied by five singers and four musicians on stage - the two collaborators harken back to the very roots of voice and gesture; delivering a performance marked by spiritual elegance and blistering physicality. Rather than mimicking one another, Khan and Galván create something new by better understanding each other's approaches to their craft.

"For many years now, I have been hungry to create a space where these respective traditions can co-exist with each other to create a new dynamic dance," said Khan. "Only when I finally witnessed Israel perform, did I realize that he was the artist I was waiting for to travel on this journey. Dancing beside him is like dancing next to a sublime storyteller of rhythms, not rhythms of the past, but rhythms of the future."

As part of the Torobaka experience, Israel Galván will lead a flamenco masterclass at the Esmeralda Enrique Academy of Spanish Dance (401 Richmond St. W) on Monday, March 7 from 3 - 4:30 pm. Spaces are limited. For more information, or to register, call the Canadian Stage Box Office at 416.368.3110.

Torobaka will be on stage at the Bluma Appel Theatre, St Lawrence Centre for the Arts (27 Front St. E). Performances run Wednesday, March 9 and Thursday, March 10 at 8 pm, Friday, March 11 at 7 pm, and Saturday March 12 at 8 pm. The performance runs 75 minutes with no intermission. Tickets from $24 to $99 are available online, by phone at 416.368.3110, or in person at the Berkeley Street box office. For details visit


Creative Team

Created & performed by
Akram Khan & Israel Galván
Music arranged & performed by
David Azurza, BC Manjunath, Bobote, Christine Leboutte
Farooq Chaudhry & Bia Oliveira (Khan Chaudhry Productions), Chema Blanco & Cisco Casado (A Negro Productions)
Costume designer
Kimie Nakano
Lighting designer
Michael Hulls
Sound designer
Pedro Léon

Presented by Canadian Stage

Co-produced by MC2: Grenoble, Sadler's Wells London, Mercat de les Flors Barcelona,Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Festival Montpellier Danse 2015, Onassis Cultural Centre - Athens, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay Singapore, Prakriti Foundation, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam/Flamenco Biënnale Nederland, Concertgebouw Brugge, HELLERAU - European Center for the Arts Dresden, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Romaeuropa Festival. Sponsored by COLAS.

World Premiere: MC2: Grenoble, France, 2 June 2014

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