top of page


Portraits in Otherness is a platform that promotes artists who carry multiple identities and whose works dance on the borders of the worlds we know and those we imagine.  
“Otherness” becomes a prism for new artistic voices to be embraced as opposed to respected from afar. It connects the past, with the present and reaches into the future with the aim of invigorating global culture with new perspectives. Uniting us, as we seek to reconcile the stories and identities that inhabit us.  

These artists embody more than the conventional dualities of classicism/modernity, traditional/contemporary, east/west etc. They are bridges between cultures, eras, knowledge and intuition. They each carry an ancient heritage, honoring traditions, while transforming and creating them in their own ways.   
They are the vanguards of a new generation of artists who pull from experience in street dances, contemporary and traditional dances, but are not bound by any particular form. Their respective voices carry many dance languages both learned and inherited.  
Originally conceptualized and curated by internationally renowned choreographer and dancer Akram Khan and his creative producer Farooq Chaudhry in 2017, Portraits in Otherness transfers a legacy built on  values of international collaboration,  creative diversity and artistic hybridity to a new generation of dance artists.

"Portraits in Otherness  represent two important things – giving back and contributing to the future of dance. We have identified diverse uniquely gifted early career artists who we believe have something to say and for whom “otherness” symbolizes opportunity instead of marginalisation. We have provided each artist with the optimum artistic conditions to express their ideas, concepts and language with as much confidence and clarity at this fragile point in their careers. Just as many people did for us almost twenty years ago. We feel this is our artistic and cultural responsibility! We look forward to the stories they will tell and the stories we believe they will continue to tell in many years to come.”

– Farooq Chaudhry OBE, Artistic Director of Fengling Productions

Whip takes its inspiration from the “Whip Dance”, one of the most popular folk dances of the Bai - an ethnic minority living in the Yunnan province in southwest of China. Amongst seventy-four other folk dances, the “Whip Dance” is charged and knitted with Bai’s history and customs. It represents their humour, primitive simplicity, elegance and energy.

Only a few Bai people know the most primitive version and Whip is a modern and personal interpretation instilling a new breath into a secular dance tradition. It represents Maya Dong’s homeland and conveys the aspirations of many people. Whip is an international collaboration directed by Farooq Chaudhry with choreography by Maya Jilan Dong and an original composition by Hong Kong Composer Joanne Clara

Duration: 30 mins


Artistic Director: Akram Khan

Creative Producer: Farooq Chaudhry

Choreographers/Dancers: Maya Dong

Composer/Performer: Joanne Clara

Lighting Designer Fabiana Piccioli

Lighting Engineer Sander Loonen

Costume Design Marie Cantenys

Project Manager Christine Maupetit

Co-produced by Akram Khan Company, Sadler’s Wells London, Peacock Contemporary Dance Company

Supported by Arts Council England


London Theatre Guide

"Whip is an aesthetically stunning piece of extremes. Taking the audience from precarious balance to frenzy"

Tour Dates

Details on touring coming soon

bottom of page