Haven't we all been called a refugee, migrant, foreigner

at some time in our cultural history?

"As a hymn to how we ought to change for our migrants this was elegiac" Fringe Review 2022

Critically acclaimed, Kathak artist Amina Khayyam uses the cyclic phenomenon of south Asian classical dance, where there is no beginning or end, to tell contemporary stories of migrants and refugees tarnished by media and politicians for cheap exploitation, spreading fear for those risking their lives to make a better future.  Amina’s Kathak incorporates Nritta (pure dance) and Nritya (expression of narrative), using costume, movement, space and music to capture the first beat of that cyclic time and nest it until it becomes the one again – to suggest both the refugees and name callers are of the same cycle. 

Created, arranged, and performed by Amina Khayyam

Kathak compositions collaboration with Debasish Mukerjee

Musicians: Debasish Mukherjee (tabla), Iain McHugh (cello), Sohini Alam (vocals)  Jane Chan (paranth). 

Projection: Louis Rhoades-Brown   

Creatively produced by in association with zeroculture/The Artta

Made at Brunel Arts with financial support from the Arts Council of England.

(click name for bios)

Khayyam’s performance was, one to gaze at with unremitting awe”.  

“...the Cello, at its most contemplative”.  

“.. singing was, without any shadow of any doubt the most haunting I have heard for some time.”

Fringe Review 2022

On making of ONE 

“Since the ice age, our pre-historic ancestors - homo erectus, hominds,  Neanderthals Denisovans and who ever –  have been crossing continents to find better habitual climates so that we, homo sapiens, got chance to evolve to what we are now. Today we are doing no different – displaced by climate change, war, political extortion and many other reasons – many of us are following that same human trait – cross continents to survive or better ourselves.   Yet, ‘migrants’, ‘foreigners’, ‘refugees’ are words tarnished ‘dirty’ and ‘negative’ by the media and harboured by politicians for political gain. 

I have approached the making of ONE to emphasise and subscribe to the fundamental principle of Indian philosophy and classical arts that there is no beginning or end but just a cyclic phenomenon where the obsession with territory has no significance.  I delve into the wealth and power of Kathak exploring technique such as nritta: abstract rhythmic mathematic based compositions (tukras, tihais, lari) and nritya: expression through narrative (gatnikas - a rhythmic character composition), satvika and ang abhinaya (emotional body movement) and aharya abhinaya (use of costume and stage), to portray the journey of migrants and refugees within that cyclic phenomenon all of us are all journeying” Amina Khayyam

“In the year in which we lost Peter Brook I was reminded of the power of an Empty Stage instantly by this [ONE]….Khayyam may not quite have been elevated to that level but there were elements of her performance which evoked comparisons.”  Fringe Review 2022