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Edinburgh International Festival Q&As: Akram Khan

Akram Khan talks to HeraldScotland about dancing with his daughter, wanting to live closer to the festival, and ancient myths.

Tell us about your show at the International Festival

'Gnosis' is one of the most important works I have created. I feel it lives simultaneously and equally, both in the classical and in the modern world. And so it gives me great pleasure to present this work that inhabits ancient myths, ancient music, and ancient dance within eight bodies that are very much of the present.

Best thing about the Festival?

The sheer size and range of the different art forms all sharing their stories, under this enormous umbrella of the festival.

Worst thing about the Festival?

I just wish it was closer to where I live, or I was living closer to the festival, because then I would probably go every year and see as many of the performances in the festival as I possibly could.

How many years have you been coming to the Festival?

Once in 2004.

Best Festival memory?

The openness and generosity of the Edinburgh public.

Craziest on stage experience?

Yet to happen... But I predict, it will hopefully be when I dance with my young daughter on stage one day soon. Now she is one and a half, so I have to wait a bit, but hopefully it will happen before I retire!

How do you wind down after a show?

I try not to think, not to speak, not to listen, I just try to be as still as possible.

What do you love about Scotland?

Its nature.

What do you like about Edinburgh?

Its spirit.

What's the most Scottish thing you've done?

I don't know...

Do you have a favourite joke?

Yes, but I am not going to let you read it. It has to be told live. So perhaps, one day, if we happen to bump into each other, and it's not before a show I am performing in, or after the show, where I try not to think, speak or listen, then just come up to me and I will try retelling it, the way I was told it!

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