Alum Farah Yasmeen Shaikh: Pakistani Dancer Makes Kathak International

Monday, May 23, 2016
THE WIRE (INDIA) -- Farah Yasmeen Shaikh has her Karachi audiences transfixed as she illuminates the stage with a rendition of Mughal Emperor Jahangir and Empress Noor Jehan’s tale of love. Shaikh is the lone dancer on stage, yet she morphs from one character into the next — playing a range of 21 characters with swift changes in body language, movement and expression. This is an original choreography based on Indu Sundaresan’s novel, The Twentieth Wife. Shaikh trained under the tutelage of Kathak icon the late Pandit Chitresh Das, while studying at the San Francisco State University. She then went on to become a lead dancer at the Chitresh Das Dance Company. Based in San Francisco in the United States, Shaikh is now an internationally touring soloist and teacher of the Kathak dance form.