Amna Mawaz Khan


[Photo: Snober Abbasi]

With every thud resounding on the wooden floor, Khan diligently matched each beat of tabla with her ghungro, shifting from slow to fast-paced beats. From expressing concern over the looming thunderstorm as she awaits her lover in the performance titled, “Saavan,” to demure, shy expressions while she wears anklets thinking of her lover, Khan’s simple honesty in her performances managed to shine through.

- Sehrish Ali,
Express Tribune

Her foremost trainee resident in Pakistan, now a master trainer herself, is the similarly diminutive Amna Mawaz; whose ‘arangetaram’ (debut performance) in Islamabad earlier at the PNCA and solo exhibition this year at the LitFest enthralled ‘shayakeen’ and casual observers alike.. Amna here and Tehreema abroad are, vis-a-vis Indu Mitha, what Facih ur Rehman has been in relation to Maharaj. To watch either perform a ‘tillana’… is to imagine oneself in Nirvana or Firdaus.

- Rehana Hyder,
The Friday Times

The company includes, in addition to its musicians, an accomplished dancer, Amna Mawaz Khan, who moves in a stylized but fluid manner, bringing her arms and fingers and everything else into the motion, which is emphatic, balanced, barefoot, expressive, and somehow, despite its low center of gravity, light of essence. At one point four actors approached holding high a blue cloth representing a tent from its four corners, and held it over Khan as she danced. The cloth had a hole in the middle and they dropped it over her head, transforming it into a swirling garment that concealed her. She continued to dance, an individual in a modesty cloak of anonymity. Theater in Pakistan, she commented later, is largely multidisciplinary, embracing music and movement as well as narrative.

- Bob Hicks,
Oregon Arts Watch

While in Lahore in 2019, I had the chance to visit the Faiz Literary Festival in Lahore. In the setting of the Lawrence Gardens ampitheatre, I witnessed a moving dance performance by Amna Mawaz Khan. Dressed from head to toe in black, she moved across the stage with strong, powerful movements to show how dance could be used to bring about awareness for societal change. Through her hand gestures and foot work she told a story which provoked me to reflect on patriarchy and state oppression. I realised how dance was another strategy for storytelling and how words are not always necessary. Music and gestures can speak volumes.

- Farah Ahamed,
Scroll India

© 2024Amna Mawaz Khan