Farah Yasmeen Shaikh


About the Artist

Farah Yasmeen Shaikh is an internationally acclaimed Kathak artist – performer, choreographer and instructor, and Founder & Artistic Director of Noorani Dance. As a performer, Farah is known for her evocative storytelling, technical precision, delicacy and grace, with two decades of training from the late Pandit Chitresh Das. Farah’s initial teaching and performance experience was as a leading member of the Chitresh Das Dance Company (1998-2014) and as a senior instructor at the Chhandam School of Kathak. Farah has gone on to develop a unique artistic voice, often addressing topics of historical and social relevance, while also maintaining the classical elements of kathak. Farah performs her own traditional and innovative works, most notably, The Forgotten Empress – based on the life of 17th Century Mughal Empress Noor Jahan, and The Partition Project — based on the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition and Nazaakat aur Taaqat – Delicate Power. A TEDx speaker, and host of her own podcast, Heartistry Talk Show, Farah has received support and recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, New England Foundation for the Arts, Gerbode Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, California Arts Council, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, San Mateo County Arts Commission, SVCreates and Dancers’ Group.

In addition to training students of Noorani Dance, Farah’s teaching experience includes ODC School and Along King LINES Ballet in San Francisco, India Community Center in the Silicon Valley, and various academic and arts institutions throughout the U.S. in addition to being a guest choreographer for the World Dance Program at Alvin Ailey Extension in New York City. She has been a guest teacher at UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, and Saint Mary’s College, and has also engaged in performance/teaching residencies at Wellesley College and Asia Society Texas Center. Farah was also a consulting choreographer for the theatrical adaptation of Monsoon Wedding, directed by Mira Nair, and the lead choreographer for I’ll Meet You There, a feature length film directed by Pakistani American filmmaker, Iram Parveen Bilal.






Classes, Group instruction, Lectures / Lecture-demonstrations, Performances, Workshops

Other: Non-profit consultation

Program Participant

Apprenticeship Recipient, Living Cultures Grant Recipient

Offerings Location

In-person services, Online/remote services


Menlo Park







Artist Social Links