Akram Khan’s Chotto Desh – a free virtual performance for all ages

Chotto Desh , Dancer Nicolas Ricchini © Richard Haughton. Presented by HarrisTheater
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Akram Khan’s magical tale of exploration comes to the HT Virtual Stage —  plus, join Harris Theater for a live interactive event with the artists.  

One of the activities that has help me to manage during this past year has been exchanging links to various virtual free cultural events with friends.  I enjoy receiving information about outstanding musical events from my friend, Gail.  Recently, she sent me a link to a performance that just blew me away.

Chotto Desh©Jean Louis Fernandez, Presented by the Harris Theater

The link she sent opened to a virtual presentation by the Harris Theater for Music and Dance of Chicago. The work, Chotto Desh was created by internationally celebrated choreographer and dancer Akram Khan. I found this performance unique, unlike anything I have previously seen.  Nicolas Ricchini displayed remarkable skill as a dancer and actor. As I watched this performance, I was mesmerized.  It was brilliant in the way it integrated dance, music, art, mime, lighting and special effects into a story that was fantastic, deeply relatable, and mystical.

Chotto Desh©Jean Louis Fernandez

Translating to “small homeland,” Chotto Desh draws on Khan’s unique quality of cross-cultural storytelling, creating a compelling tale of a young man’s dreams and memories from Britain to Bangladesh. Using a unique mix of dance, text, visuals, and sound, Chotto Desh celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in the modern world and is a magical, thrilling, and poignant dance theater experience for audiences of all ages to enjoy together.  This is an opportunity not to be missed.

Chotto Desh , Dancer Nicolas Ricchini © Richard Haughton

One of the most exciting aspects of this project is that it connects with the Harris Theater plans for the 21/22 season. While announcements have not yet been made for the full season, I was told that Harris Theater will be presenting Akram Khan performing his evening-length XENOS this November, as well as the international premiere of his newest work for English National Ballet, Creature, in February. What a wonderful gift awaits those of us who are thrilled by Akram Khan’s work.

Chotto Desh©Jean Louis Fernandez

Audiences are also invited to enrich their experience of this powerful story by joining a live event on Saturday, May 15 with dancer Nicolas Ricchini and director Sue Buckmaster. The event will include storytelling and interactive elements to engage and delight all ages. This sounds like a must-see event. It’s an interactive, all-ages event and a great opportunity for young audiences and families to enrich their experience of the piece.

Chotto Desh©Jean Louis Fernandez

Chotto Desh premiered on the HT Virtual Stage at 2PM on Monday, May 10. Click here to learn more about the production and live interactive event, and watch the trailer below.

Watch the Trailer


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