A veritable Jungle Book for today
The time has come: Nature is exacting its revenge. The world has become a dense forest of vines and gullies where animals reign supreme and humans become their enemies. Where can one find shelter? Climate refugee Mowgli, an injured black pantheress who still retains her compassion versus a lab monkey and its fervent, raucous followers: Each reflects the contrast of the humane and beastly.
At age 10, Akram Khan played Mowgli in The Jungle Book, adapted as an Indian dance production directed by Peter Brook. The young talented dancer is now almost 50, a world-renowned choreographer and a father. For him, “now is the time” to adapt this universal classic that has touched countless hearts around the world. Akram Khan Company last appeared in Hong Kong three years ago in XENOS. This time, Jungle Book reimagined requires no set shipped across the seas. Instead, animal instincts internalised by the dancers leap out amidst thunderous original music enveloping our senses with animated projections that look fanciful and yet are so real.
For this production, New Vision Arts Festival contributed to the collaboration between the Akram Khan Company and Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA)’s School of Dance. Eight HKAPA students travelled to England to train and rehearse with the company; among them, Jan Mikaela Villanueva was selected to perform as guest artist in the world premiere and as company member in Hong Kong premiere of Jungle Book reimagined. The role of Mowgli is alternatively played by Jan and Akram Khan Company member Shum Pui-yung, who hails from Hong Kong.