Until the Lions, Akram Khan Company, Roundhouse, review: a pocket-sized epic of female empowerment

Akram Khan Company performing Until the Lions at the Roundhouse
Akram Khan Company performing Until the Lions at the Roundhouse Credit: Alastair Muir

Akram Khan’s astonishing show Until the Lions was inspired by a book of poetry of the same name by Karthika Naïr, itself drawing on the ancient Sanskrit text the Mahabharata. The full African proverb that yielded the title reads: “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

Substitute “women” for “lions”, and “men” for hunter”, and you have a maxim perfectly in tune with the modern, post-Weinstein climate – and the same emphatically goes for Khan’s pocket-sized epic of female empowerment. But this piece is no opportunistic reaction to or virtue-signalling alignment with the #MeToo movement, for the simple reason that – somehow typically...

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