National Youth Dance Company

National Youth Dance Company


‘One of the finest dance pieces I’ve seen, not just in the youth dance sector but anywhere, came from the National Youth Dance Company of England.’

The Scotsman
‘The performers seem scarcely aware of their power, which only multiplies it.’

- The Guardian


The Rashomon Effect

In The Rashomon Effect, the 30 dancers are the authors, we used their own movement language and improvisation skills to build the piece; this gives them a sense of confidence and ownership of the material. It’s beautiful to see a body less imposed on by the world of dance, still at a raw stage and still exploring what it wants to be. You see the potential but it’s not yet carved in stone. They haven’t yet arrived at the point where they know exactly who they are so they are very open to trying new things. They have an incredible, unique vocabulary, every one of them; they have their own style and each one is extremely different. One of the reasons I took on the role of NYDC was to be reminded of how it is to have an open body; to re-experience, re-ignite, re-visit my own body through watching them experience their own bodies. – Akram Khan

Inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s film: The Rashomon Effect, the piece is built on a cyclical pattern. Each time the dancers come back to a place, it is perceived differently, in the same way that people have different perceptions of the same experience so we cannot be sure what that experience is.

‘The work had a powerful effect, and it was wonderful to see what was, essentially, a corps de ballet of contemporary dancers filling the stage with vivid, massed movement.’ – Dancing Times


  • 16 April 2014
    Premiere, Sadler's Wells, London
  • 19 April 2014
    Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London
  • 22 June 2014
    DanceEast, Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich
  • 27 June 2014
    U.Dance 2014, Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham
  • 28 June 2014
    Sampled Festival, Sadler's Wells, London
  • 5 July 2014
    Dance City, Newcastle
  • 6 July 2014
    Riley Theatre, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds
  • 12 July 2014
    Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival, Glasgow
  • 24 July 2014
    mac, Birmingham

The Rashomon Effect Team

Akram Khan


Andrej Petrovič


Gurmit Hukam

Rehearsal Director

The Artist (Vincenzo Lamagna)


Hannah Peel

Music Manager

Adam Carrée

Lighting Designer

Kimie Nakano

Costume Designer