Mavin Khoo status as one of bharatanatyam’s most exciting modern innovators demonstrates the global reach of the tradition. The dance form originated in Tamil Nadu, but Khoo is Malaysian-born, and learned it in Britain and the USA as well as India. He received long-term instruction from Adyar K. Lakshman, and also studied European classical ballet and various folk forms.
Known for his own imaginative choreography as well as frequent collaborations with Akram Khan, Mavin tours the world as one of the few solo male bharatanatyam exponents. He has worked with Wayne McGregor, Shobana Jeyasingh, and many other leading figures from contemporary dance, and until recently was a lecturer in Dance Studies at the University of Malta.
He has collaborated with the Temple of Fine Arts - the organisation he first trained at - setting myths of Lord Rama to bhajan devotional songs for Darbar Festival 2019. He is also the Assistant Curator of our overall 2019 dance programme.
"I think what is really particular about bharatanatyam...[is] the notion of interpretation of text with a strong musical backbone - what we refer to as abhinaya. When this is done well, it is truly a transcendental experience. Yes, there are other elements like its pure dance technique, rhythm, lines, foot work. But, for me, its uniqueness and artistry and the element that can’t just be learned and produced without a deep sense of surrender."
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