Extreme Combat: The Dancer and the Fighter

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“Akram Khan is a unique documentarist…he interrogates MMA with the utmost thoughtfulness.” Radio Times

“Akram Khan is repulsed by violence, but often portrays it in his choreography. In this intriguing film he confronts the blood-soaked masculinity of cage-fighting.” The Sunday Times

Akram Khan, one of the world’s most acclaimed contemporary dancers and choreographers, is about to enter a very different arena: the world of mixed martial arts, or MMA. Although many of his dances depict acts of violence, in reality Akram is repelled by the idea of it. In this film he plunges into the ultra-masculine world of MMA, following three of Britain’s leading fighters – Terry ‘The Dominator’ Brazier, Michael ‘Seabass’ Shipman, and Michael ‘Venom’ Page – as they prepare for career-defining fights at Wembley Arena. MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and Akram tries to understand the hold this violent spectacle has on us. As he becomes involved in the fighters’ training and learns more about their lives, he’s forced to confront his own relationship with violence and the events that traumatised him as a teenager. Finally, Akram choreographs a special dance for one of the fighter’s walk-ins, presented in front of a baying crowd of thousands before the fighters head into the cage.

1×60 for Channel 4

Distributed by All3Media International

Presented by Akram Khan
Filmed, Produced and Directed by Christian Collerton
Producer: Sophie Clayton-Payne
Editor: Will Grayburn
Executive Producers: Neil Crombie and Joe Evans

 

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