March 2020 In Dance

Photos by Lynn Lane

The Forgotten Empress , Hammer Theatre Center, San Jose, Feb 28 and 29 at 7:30pm and Z Space, San Fran- cisco, March 5 and 6 at 7:30pm for a variety of publications including: In Dance , Sonoma Magazine , North Bay Bohemian , Pacific Su n, and The San Diego Reader . Rios also offers writing services in ad copy, press releases, business proposals, and grant acquisitions through her con- sulting business Mina Communications. of The Partition Project in which dance will be at the forefront of examining stories and messages related to the 1947 India-Paki- stan Partition (independence from the Brit- ish Empire), bringing us to the present day, where the tension between the two countries is still ever present,” says Shaikh. And starting February 11, 2020, Shaikh will host a new podcast, The Heartistry, on DASH Radio’s Rukus Avenue Radio; avail- able on various podcast platforms. Invited guests will include professionals from a vari- ety of industries around the globe, with a deep commitment to their work. Believe it or not, in between teaching, choreographing, networking, hosting a pod- cast, developing stories for the stage, and preparing for the upcoming production of The Forgotten Empress , remarkably Shaikh made time to host a local TED Talk in recent weeks. Really. By any stretch of the imagina- tion, Shaikh’s ambition has no limits. Evi- dently when you’re a woman of influence, or at least this woman of influence, ideas never cease. Originally from San Francisco, MINA RIOS is a freelance journalist and voice for the global arts community through stimulating, under-reported journalism. Driven by her background in music, dance, drama, and a passion for the arts, Rios writes

approximately 50 of my students is based on the time during the Mughal period known as the Golden Age when Emperor Akbar was ruler. He was known for creating an environ- ment in which the arts flourished and people of various faiths coexisted and embraced one another’s traditions and cultures. The show titled Sunehra Noor - A Golden Light also has a legend that emphasizes the arts as a natural force, has the power to set fire, but also bring rain to put out the fire.” Shaikh has busied herself with another project: “I am working on the next iteration

As an independent artist, Shaikh has adapted many poems into Kathak dance pieces. In 2015, Shaikh premiered Indu Sun- daresan’s The Twentieth Wife at Z Space in San Francisco, her first full length produc- tion in which she choreographed, performed, and helped adapt for the stage; phase one of Shaikh’s tribute works dedicated to the Empress Noor Jahan. That same year, Das passed away suddenly at the age of 70. Though there was no reconciliation between the two a deep commitment to sharing his gifts remains.

Shaikh began training the next genera- tion of Kathak artists in 2015, when she established Noorani Dance in Menlo Park. A traditional Kathak dance school for students age five and up, training includes the foun- dational aspects of movement technique, the theoretical aspects of the music, as well as the history and philosophy. Currently, Shaikh is working with a chil- dren’s book author in Pakistan to adapt her story for a new dance drama. Fur- ther expanding her production repertoire, Shaikh says, “My next production for


in dance MAR 2020

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