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Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated dance artists today, building his reputation on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as Until the Lions, Kaash, iTMOi (in the mind of igor), DESH, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees.

An instinctive and natural collaborator, Akram has been a magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines such as actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, singer Kylie Minogue, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, composers Steve Reich and Nitin Sawhney. A recent highlight of his career was the creation of a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim.

Khan has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including an Olivier Award for DESH and a record-breaking six Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. He is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells, London and Curve, Leicester. 

'Looking back, I feel that there were two components that have been an integral part of my artistic development. The first one was hard work and dedication needed from oneself, and the second was having the courage to continue and grow, because of an external force. That external force is what I call 'belief', not from oneself, but from others. I believe Arts Award supports both components, and offers both support and recognition for young artists.

'It gives me great honour to be in the shoes of the people who once believed in me, and I hope this in turn will provide a place for you to continue  believing in yourself and your art.'