“Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, a truly significant artist ignited the crowd with her inspired rhythms and dazzling footwork.”
– India Post
"Her expressions held the audience captive as she played a multiple characters."
– Dawn (Pakistan)
Photo by Rama Sivamani
The Forgotten Empress
Duration: 1.25 hours
The Forgotten Empress is dynamic-dance drama based on the history and life of Empress Noor Jahan exploring the influence she had in 17th century Mughal India, and how she maintained her delicate power in a male dominated empire only to be almost forgotten in the latter years of her life and in death.
The story is told through Kathak by Farah who plays all of the characters, accompanied by a live musical ensemble, and an actress/storyteller who guides us on the journey of understanding the life of the Empress.
Nazaakat aur Taaqat - A Delicate Power
Duration: 45 minutes to 1.5 hours
Farah Yasmeen Shaikh performs a traditional kathak solo showcasing powerful technique, juxtaposed with graceful delicacy, and compelling storytelling. Nazaakat aur Taaqat is comprised of short vignettes highlighting the opposing yet complementary aspects of kathak through a visually rhythmic journey of dance and music.
Most enjoyable with live music (3-4 musicians), but can be performed to recorded music.
A musical rearrangement based on the poetry of the great Hazrat Amir Khusro, and sung by some of South Asia's greatest vocalists.
The artists humbly recomposed and choreographed the piece as a dance and music video, indicative of the times artists are currently living through as result of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, Artistic Director & Kathak Artist Raaginder Singh Momi, Violin & Sound Engineer
Nilan Chaudhuri, Tabla
Deepti Warrier & Surtaal Singh, Vocals
Ragini Kaur Momi, Harmonium and Video Director & Editor Ragini Kaur Momi & Achint Sidhu, Directors of Photography Jack Beuttler, Production Management & Lighting
TRANSITION - a dance, music & spoken word collaboration, and a timely reflection and call to action to participate in Revolutionary Love. Conceived of &directed by Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, based on words written & spoken by Valarie Kaur from her book "See No Stranger." Music composed/performed by Annette Philip. Dance choreographed/performed by Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, Alicia Nascimento-Castro, Athena Nair, Aysha Upchurch, Brinda Guha, and Nadhi Thekkek.
Farah has been guest choreographer for World Dance Program at Alvin Ailey Extension in NYC, consulting choreographer for the theatrical adaptation of "Monsoon Wedding" - Dir. Mira Nair, and lead choreographer for feature film "I’ll Meet You There," Dir. Pakistani American filmmaker, Iram Parveen Bilal.
Farah's choreographic works are steeped in both tradition and innovation, Farah has developed a nuanced and unique artistic voice, often addressing topics of social relevance, while also maintaining the classical elements of Kathak. Whether for the Noorani Dance Company, or as a guest choreographer, Farah's artistry has garnered attention through film and live performances of dance and theater.
Payal Mein Geet Hain is a popular Pakistani Urdu geet from 1954, describing a woman in love, so much so that even when she tries to walk softly the sound of her anklets can’t help but make a sound as a statement of that love. Reinterpreted by Farah to convey the love that dancers have for their dance, accepting the fate that its joy will take them over, and thus can’t silence the sound of their ghungroo. This is a tribute to this piece of Pakistani music, and a celebration of dance, music, and the communities it creates.