Dance With Alia is an evolving collaborative project that supports dancers and teachers from around the world as they share their knowledge, view points and expertise of dance. The goal and the path is to honor each dance heritage by giving a medium for people to learn more, to see and revel in the many beautiful ways we can move our bodies to music.
Although Alia has years of dance experience, the focus is on her subject as she investigates tradition, style, culture and music of the dance style as we well as personal experiences and preferences of the teacher. Her variety of dance experience as well as ethnographical training at UCLA offer an indepth intellectual and aesthetic experience.
Alia studied Bharata Natyam in California for nine years with Guru Malathi Iyengar, disciple of the late Indian Guru Narmada. She has studied Bharata Natyam with Sudharsana Srinivasan in New York, Sridevi Ajai Thirumalai in Massachusetts and Indian folk from Murali Mohan in California. Alia’s training in Modern and Middle Eastern dance, along with experience in Hip Hop and African, has influenced her recent choreography of diverse Liturgical and World Fusion dances. Alia has performed solo and with Rangoli Dance Company (Bharata Natyam), Kahana Hula (Polynesian), Sisters of the Red Skye and Kalima Satori (Middle Eastern/World Dance) troupes. She has danced in professional theatres, as a stage dancer at festivals and nightclubs, for private parties, and weddings.
While at UCLA, studying for her degree in Cultural Anthropology, Alia began her in depth analysis of the history of south Indian dance. She explored the multifaceted saga of this dance as it was shaped by colonialism, religiosity, sexism, then by cultural and national revitalist movements. This study has helped inform her recent investigations into other dances such as flamenco, modern and ballet. She is intrigued by the new formation of ‘Tribal Fusion’ belly dance from the San Francisco Bay area. The study of this new dance form offers a unique window to look into our own modern relationship with dance, women, community, history, tradition and the impacts of music on dance and dance on music. Alia has been teaching praise dance since 2004, incorporating spoken word, Modern, bellydance, Indian Folk, and Hip-Hop into her choreographies. In 2006, Alia began studying Hula with Tiare Kahana in Connecticut . She discovered that this beautiful dance form also uses storytelling and prayer to both connect to and teach about God.