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Woman Of The Week: Kathak Dancer, Alaina Roy

We are super excited to introduce, professionally trained classical Kathak dancer, Alaina Roy!

After having been trained under the artistic guidance of Guru Pali Chandra and Guru Nitesh Saraswat in Dubai for a decade, she now teaches in Pakistan. She has performed across the United Arab Emirates, at the O2 Arena in London as well as in Karachi, Pakistan, and has auditioned for Royal Albert Hall in London and been trained intensively in Lucknow, India.

How did you get into Kathak?

So I was learning ballet but I didn’t like it and so when looking for other options, my mum came across Kathak classes in Dubai and that’s where it all started!

Why Kathak specifically?

The reason partially is because my mum had already enrolled me in the classes so it began as an extra-curricular activity (I was 7 years old!). However, I think the reason I continued and am still learning after 13 years is that I am extremely traditional and love to embrace our culture so learning Kathak enabled a sparking of that connection with my homeland. Also, I have an immense passion for this particular art form.

Who is your mentor and who is your biggest inspiration?

I don’t have one specific inspiration but my parents and my gurus are my mentors. They are the ones who have always pushed, encouraged and motivated me.

Is it true Kathak ranges from expressions to every part of your body being in motion to express or mean something?

Kathak is the art of storytelling, and in order to tell a story you must involve the use of your facial expressions and body language. So yes, the use of expressions, movement and acting all play a vital role in Kathak because it is these aspects that allow for a story to be told through dance.

Who is the one person you would love to perform for?

There is no one in particular – I am grateful for all of my audiences. Although, as cliché, as it sounds, I am a huge Atif Aslam fan so I hope one day he will see my work!

 What has been your best piece or performance this far?

Each performance is a learning experience because each performance allows growth. I perform to the best of my ability every time and I learn to grow from the strengths and weaknesses of each performance. So I can’t pinpoint a particular performance that I would call the best. However, every time I have performed the piece “Khamaaj” by Fuzon, I receive a lot of appreciation.

 What should we expect next?

There is a lot in the pipeline, but for now, I will be performing on the 12th of September at The Second Floor with some of Pakistan’s finest musicians and I hope to see all of you there! Stay tuned and follow @kathakwithalainaroy’s journey!

Photography: Sibt-e-Hassan Azad, Hair & Make-up: Under the Dryer Salon and Kami Bhatti, Jewellery: Kohar Jewels, Wardrobe: HSY

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