Akram Khan pp 71-91 | Cite as

Auto-ethnography and Loose in Flight (1999)

  • Royona Mitra
Part of the New World Choreographies book series (NWC)


Khan’s use of the body as both a site and source of decolonisation may have reached a crystallised political aesthetic in Gnosis, but its presence as a strategy of artistic enquiry was evident from his earliest endeavour as a student at university. Between 1996 and 1998, during his time at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Khan created Loose in Flight, a solo that began to negotiate the confusion generated through the multicorporeal layers between his training in kathak and contemporary dance idioms. The innovative spirit and distinctive aesthetic of Loose in Flight is seminal to Khan’s career trajectory for two reasons. Firstly it marks the moment when his very confusion began to generate an organic, dynamic and unique emerging aesthetic. Secondly and more significantly, the piece signals Khan’s earliest approach to new interculturalism as an auto-ethnographic enquiry of his own complex embodied condition. In 1999 British television producer Rosa Rogers of Channel 4 approached Khan to adapt this solo for the screen in collaboration with filmmaker Rachel Davies, as part of a series called Per4mance which was designed to promote short collaborations between filmmakers and performing artists. As a dance-film Loose in Flight (1999) embodied the interdisciplinary and collaborative spirit that has continued to characterise Khan’s trajectory.


Release Technique Bodily Expression National Television Film Medium Multicultural Policy 
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Copyright information

© Royona Mitra 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Royona Mitra
    • 1
  1. 1.Brunel University LondonUK

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