Amina Khayyam



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Amina Khayyam

Born in Sylhet, Bangladesh, Amina Khayyam is an acclaimed kathak dancer in the UK. Her performance ranges from classical Kathak to multi-media performances such as the principle performer in Akademi/Southbank's outdoor spectacle Escapade, and in International Arts' and Forum for Laboratory Theatre of Manipur's production of Macbeth-Stage of Blood on the River Thames. She has toured extensively both nationally and internationally with several companies.

Amina Khayyam began her Kathak dance training with Alpana Sengupta in Croydon progressing to professional level with Sushmita Ghosh at The Bhavan (London) under whose guidance she made her professional debut at the Purcell Room, Southbank. Alpana introduced Amina to performance and instilled in her a deep passion to pursue it as a career. As a dancer Amina worked professionally for many choreographers such as Alpana Sengupta (Jhanak), Sushmita Ghosh (Rosary), Kumudini Lakhia (Ekatra), Darshan Singh Bhullar (Find Me Amongst the Black), Sonia Sabri (Red), Filip Van Huffel (Ekatra), Dan O'Neill (Escapade) and most memorably with Lokendra Arambam.
Amina's relationship with kathak in her earlier years was marked by difficulty and obstacle having to escape cultural restriction to attend classes – a world she has not forgotten but returned to make it a source to make all her work. She leads intergenerational workshops with various ages from the least engaged and disenfranchised sectors as source of subject. Amina estimates she has donned the kathak costume for over 1000 performances throughout her career from professional productions on international stages to schools, community centres and charity events. Amina Khayyam is now the artistic director of her own company Amina Khayyam Dance Company, a professional touring dance–theatre company that uses the south Asian dance Kathak as the core narrative in making new work in collaboration with the marginalised female voice, adding to it other media and forms such as theatre, live art, and technology.
Since forming her company Amina has created a number of full-length productions - One, Yerma, A Thousand Faces, Slut, The Hum in My Heart (Woking & Luton Stories), the latter a site immersive works on the issues of mental health. She also wrote and directed a children theatre piece (The People Who Live in the Skies), which toured outdoor venues & events. During Covid Lockdowns, Amina wrote, choreographed and directed Catch The Bird Who Won't Fly – a digital animationl/film  dance theatre piece highlighting increased levels of domestic violence during lockdowns.

A “sensitive and a nurturing” teacher Amina started teaching Kathak at the Bhavan. She also taught BA (Hon) Dance and Culture degree modules at The University of Surrey, where she introduced the theory of kathak dance, making it compulsory for students to study the history of Kathak and notation of Kathak compositions. Currently Amina is teaching in various locations.


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