Outwitting the Devil


'As I arrive at the end of my dancing career, I have awakened to a new way of dancing. And that is to dance my ideas through the bodies of others, including older dancers, who carry their histories and complex emotional experiences within them. But what remains unchanged is my passion for exploring old and new myths in the context of our times.' – Akram Khan

'The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece, they looked at it and thought they had the truth.'

'We must keep up our communion with the dead, for they are us, as we are the dead of future generations.'
Roy Scranton

In 2015 a newly discovered fragment of the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world’s earliest surviving great works of literature, was translated from cuneiform script. The fragment of Tablet V contains descriptions of a vast wild Cedar Forest which Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, and his feral companion Enkidu discover on their travels. Though overawed by its richness and beauty, the two men slaughter its guardian and destroy the forest. This text and its implications are the seed for Outwitting the Devil.

Akram Khan’s new work is a concentrated epic about ritual and remembering, made in the context of humankind’s departure from the Holocene epoch into the unknown future of the Anthropocene. In a landscape of broken tablets and fallen idols, its six characters trade their remaining wealth and stories, seeking to make whole the fragments of ancient knowledge lost and forgotten over time. 

Outwitting the Devil invites us all to the table where life, death and our half-remembered myths are the bread we break together.


No results


  • 2020-02-21 00:00:00 2020-02-21 00:00:00 - Espace des Arts - Scène Nationale de Chalon-sur-Saône, Chalon-sur-Saône - France
  • 2020-02-18 00:00:00 2020-02-18 00:00:00 - Ma Scène Nationale Pays de Montbéliard, Montbéliard - France
  • 2020-01-17 00:00:00 2020-01-17 00:00:00 - Théâtre de l'Olivier, Istres - France
  • 2020-01-14 00:00:00 2020-01-14 00:00:00 - Théâtres en Dracénie, Draguignan - France
  • 2020-01-07 00:00:00 2020-01-08 00:00:00 - La Comédie de Clermont Ferrand, Clermont Ferrand - France
  • 2019-12-10 00:00:00 2019-12-11 00:00:00 - Central Le Théâtre, La Louvière - Belgium
  • 2019-12-04 00:00:00 2019-12-07 00:00:00 - Théâtre de Namur, Namur - Belgium
  • 2019-11-29 00:00:00 2019-11-30 00:00:00 - Grand Théâtre, Aix-en-Provence - France
  • 2019-11-01 00:00:00 2019-11-02 00:00:00 - Dunstan Playhouse, OzAsia Festival, Adelaide - Australia
  • 2019-10-08 00:00:00 2019-10-09 00:00:00 - Dance lnversion Festival, Moscow - Russia
  • 2019-09-24 00:00:00 2019-09-25 00:00:00 - Düsseldorf Festival, Düsseldorf - Germany
  • 2019-09-11 00:00:00 2019-09-20 00:00:00 - Théâtre de la Ville, Paris - France
  • 2019-09-06 00:00:00 2019-09-07 00:00:00 - Theater Rotterdam, Rotterdam - Netherlands
  • 2019-08-28 00:00:00 2019-08-29 00:00:00 - Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Amsterdam - Netherlands
  • 2019-07-17 00:00:00 2019-07-21 00:00:00 - Festival d'Avignon, Avignon - France
  • 2019-07-13 00:00:00 2019-07-14 00:00:00 - COLOURS International Dance Festival 2019, Stuttgart - Germany


Artistic team & credits

Artistic Director/Choreographer Akram Khan
Dramaturg Ruth Little
Lighting Designer Aideen Malone
Visual Designer Tom Scutt
Original Music Score and Sound Design Vincenzo Lamagna
Costume Designer Kimie Nakano
Writer Jordan Tannahill
Rehearsal Director Mavin Khoo

Dancers Ching-Ying Chien, Jasper Narvaez, Dominique Petit, Mythili Prakash, Sam Pratt, James Vu Anh Pham  

Executive Producer Farooq Chaudhry 
Technical Manager Tina Fagan
Production Manager Florian Stagliano
Project/Tour Manager Mashitah Omar

Co-produced by Théâtre de Namur – Centre Scénique, CENTRAL – Centre Culturel de La Louvière, Festival d’Avignon, Théâtre de la Ville – Paris, Sadler’s Wells London, La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand – scène nationale, COLOURS International Dance Festival 2019 – Stuttgart

Supported by Arts Council England

Akram Khan is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells London and Curve Leicester.