South Asian ‘Kathak’ dance performances exploring abuse and migration to be staged in Birmingham
A special performance amplifying Kathak, a south Asian classical dance, will be performed at the city’s Birmingham Hippodrome next month.
Amina Khayyam Dance Company (AKDC) is returning to the venue’s Patrick Studio on 28 and 29 February with ‘ONE | BIRD’, a double-bill of high intensity Kathak.
Kathak (pronounced “Kah-tahk”) is one of eight Indian classical dance forms originating within Hindu temples as a storytelling device for portraying the epic tales from Hindu scriptures, Mahabharata and Ramayana. Poetry combined with rhythmic movement to aid in religious storytelling.
Following the critically-acclaimed performances of ONE and BIRD at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a 2024 UK tour of the showpiece is being launched in Birmingham.
Artistic Director Amina Khayyam said: “After the success of these pieces at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, I am excited to tour them across the UK this year and bring them to new audiences.
“BIRD started in a workshop with a women’s community group where a participant asked ‘What happens to a woman when she runs away from domestic abuse?’. In BIRD we explore the social stigma for women in such a situation.
“ONE explores the human trait to cross continents to survive or better ourselves, yet the words ‘migrants’, ‘foreigners’ and ‘refugees’ are words tarnished ‘dirty’ and ‘negative’ by the media and harboured by politicians for political gain.
“These stories are forever relevant but seem even more so in current times. The pieces tell these stories with the compassion and energy of Kathak and the power of the original live music.”
In advance of the performances, AKDC is working with community organisations and schools in Birmingham to enhance their experience of the pieces.
In the workshops, participants will learn about the history of Kathak and the key dance movements and symbolisms.
“They’ll then explore the themes of the show further by creating their own responses and share their creations with the rest of the group,” the dance company revealed.
“These workshops help engage our audiences more as they have a deeper understanding and connection to the piece they are watching.”
To find out more about ‘ONE | BIRD’ and to book tickets, click here.