Photos: Robert Workman

April 2015
Brentford, Birmingham & Shoreditch

Twelve was a creative response to a shocking statistic from the Metropolitan Police: In the UK on average twelve women are killed each year in so called ‘honour' based violence.  

Kali's Artistic Director, Janet Steel brought together twelve writers and a choreographer to explore this politically burning and culturally sensitive topic by researcing twelve real life stories of women like Samaira Nazir, murdered for falling in love with an unsuitable boyfriend and Shafilea Ahmed, killed by her father after rejecting an arranged marriage proposal.  Drawing on the statements of survivors, witnesses and support workers, each writer then wrote a piece inspired by the life and death of one of these women.

These twelve deeply moving, touching but often humorous stories of friendship, first love, defiance and death were interwoven with traditional and contemporary dance to create a unique and powerful theatre event that gave expression to these lost lives. 

The blend of classical Kathak and modern Laban dance was choreographed by internationally known dancer and campaigner Sheema Kermani.

The producion performed at Brentford Watermans, Mac Birmingham and Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

You can hear Janet Steel talking about Twelve on the BBC Asian Network here (Fast forward to 1hr 27min)

Conceived and directed by Janet Steel
Choreography by Sheema Kermani
Setting & projection designed by Binita Walia
Costumes designed by Darien Mynarski
Lighting designed by Chris Corner
Music composed by Jai Channa

Performed by Patience James, Sheema Kermani, Maggie O'Brien, Aryana Ramkhalawon, Harvey Virdi, Amina Zia

Written by Sonali Bhattacharyya, Sharmila Chauhan, Satinder Chohan, Azma Dar, Tanika Gupta, Bettina Gracias, Sayan Kent, Yasmeen Khan, Anu Kumar, Amber Lone, Nessah Muthy and Yasmin Whittaker-Khan

Sheema Kermani is the founder of Tehrik-e-Niswan, a cultural arm of the Women’s Rights Movement in Pakistan. For over three decades, this fearless and renowned classical dancer has led a battle against cultural oppression in Pakistan by staging shows on subjects that are not easily talked about in that part of the world. In 2005 she was nominated as one of the “1000 Peace Women from across the Globe” for the Nobel Peace Prize.

2013 Presentation Performed by Esther McAuley, Yasmeen Khalaf,  Joanna Burnett,  Amina Zia,  Shobu Kapoor,  Aryana Ramkhalawon,  Clare Perkins,  Sukhraj Dhillon, Robin Griffith, Maya Saroya, Avita Jay, Komal Amin, Mariam Haque, Divian Ladwa, Goldy Notay,  Asif Khan, Ulrika Krishnamurti, Sakuntala Ramanee, Yasmeen Khan, Valmike Rampersad