Juliette Binoche & Akram Khan Premiere In-I DanceDate: 4 July 2008
In-I, the new contemporary dance theatre piece co-created, performed and directed by French stage and screen actress Juliette Binoche and dancer and choreographer Akram Khan (pictured together), will receive its world premiere on 18 September 2008 (previews from 6 September) at the National Theatre (See News, 2 Oct 2007), where it runs in rep until 9 October ahead of an international tour, which will see it return to the UK in 2009 for three days only (5 to 7 February) at the still-to-be-inaugurated Curve in Leicester (See News, 4 Jun 2008).
Binoche, who makes her dance debut in the piece, has been in training for two years in preparation. The piece will also mark a first for Khan, who will act, sing and play guitar on stage for the first time, in addition to dancing. Binoche and Khan are the sole performers in In-I, which has a set designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and an original score composed by cellist Philip Sheppard. Kapoor and Sheppard joined Binoche and Khan at a press launch today (4 July 2008) to launch the piece, which explores questions of love and relationships between men and women.
TO SCROLL THROUGH PHOTOS FROM TODAY’S IN-I PRESS LAUNCH,
Beyond the initial premise, none of the artists were giving much away as to its content or what to expect. “Be patient,” Binoche told journalists toay, “We’re still on the road to discovering it ourselves.” The title was ultimately decided by Anish Kapoor after Binoche and Khan were unable to reach an agreement over their individual suggestions. It’s an abbreviation of an earlier working title, “Inside Eye”, which Kapoor chose to “abstract” to give “slightly more mystery to it”.
Kapoor reiterated Binoche’s statement about the still-changing nature of the end product. “We’re not performing a work we know,” he said. “We’re discovering something we don’t know and hoping something comes out of it.” There’s a difference, according to Kapoor, between “making an (entertaining) show and going somewhere meaningful”. He admitted: “It’s a risk all round … we’ll see.”
Akram Khan commented: "Throughout my career, I have sought out unexpected collaborations with other artists to explore ideas and themes that are important to me. The project with Juliette has pushed me in unexpected directions and has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I think we are both moving outside our comfort zones through working together to create something completely new."
Binoche added: "With Akram, I felt that we could confront and share new desires, hopes and visions through our respective arts by inventing a common language. I don't know the result yet, but I know the path that we're taking is changing me radically … Any artistic expression is a means to an opening which doesn't belong to anyone but links us to each other in a mysterious and necessary way."
In-I will return Binoche to the London stage for the first time in ten years, since starring in the 1998 Almeida production of Pirandello’s Naked, which transferred to the West End. She’s best known for her many films including Chocolat, Damage, Breaking and Entering, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Blue and The English Patient, for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
In-I’s season at the National will coincide with Jubilations, a retrospective of Binoche's 25-year film career and an exhibition of her paintings at the neighbouring BFI Southbank, which will run from 1 September to 5 October 2008.
- by Terri Paddock