Akram Khan receives honorary doctorate from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Akram Khan with BA Modern Ballet graduates. Photo by Martin Shields, courtesy of RCS.
Akram Khan with BA Modern Ballet graduates. Photo by Martin Shields, courtesy of RCS.

Three visionary artists, including choreographer Akram Khan, have received honorary doctorates and inspire the next generation at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS)’s summer graduation.

The trio of pioneering performing artists shared their life experiences and inspirational advice with graduating students at the RCS.

Around 300 students graduated across music, drama, dance, production, film and education at Scotland’s national conservatoire, one of the world’s top 10 destinations to study the performing and production arts, on 4 July. Joining them, and receiving honorary doctorates, were: Akram Khan MBE, a dancer and choreographer described as one of the most visionary artists of his generation, whose company is regarded as one of the most innovative in the world; RCS alumnus Ivan Heng, a boundary-breaking actor, director and activist celebrated for a fearless approach to theatre-making and creating a space for diverse voices to be heard; and Vashti Bunyan, a celebrated singer-songwriter who achieved a cult following and critical acclaim after her music was rediscovered.

Khan is one of the world’s most celebrated and respected dance artists. Acclaimed for his dance language rooted in the ancient Indian dance Kathak, his reputation has been built on the success of imaginative and highly accessible productions including Jungle Book reimaginedOutwitting the Devil, XENOS and Until the Lions.

Previous collaborators include the actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, singer Kylie Minogue, indie rock band Florence and the Machine, visual artist Anish Kapoor, writer Hanif Kureishi, and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost.

Khan said, “I am very honoured and grateful to be receiving an honorary doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Performing arts conservatoires like RCS are integral, and I am humbled to be here amongst those who like me, value the absolute importance of performing arts education and creativity.”

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the RCS, said, “Akram Khan, Ivan Heng and Vashti Bunyan are three visionary artists who are being recognised for their exceptional contributions to the world of music, dance and theatre and the unique artistic imprints they have made on arts and culture. Their honorary doctorates acknowledge their incredible accomplishments and hope to inspire our graduating students, the next generation of artists, to push the boundaries of creativity.”

To Top