-Arya Vasanth Nair

A dancer, a dance educator, choreographer, proud owner and founder of one of the most reputed Indian dance company in New York, Ajna Dance Company, Minila Shah has left no stones unturned. While she creates milestones abroad with her dance crew, she still touches base with her country every now and then. An accomplished dancer in Kathak and Bharatanatyam she has perfected the art of blending classical, folk and Bollywood dance forms. Here is her take on everything Indian, dance and ethnic wear.
Indian classical dance

1. Apart from Indian classical dance What are the other things you really like about India?

Food!!! Indian food (Gujarati, South Indian, Punjabi, street food – all of it) is my most favorite cuisine. I am Gujarati and grew up on my mom and grandma’s delicious and healthy food and I am married to a Punjabi and love his mom’s food as well. Also being a vegetarian there are so many choices and Indian food is so full of flavor. My mouth starts watering just thinking about it.

2. As an Indian dancer do you feel the need to promote Indian ethnic wear as well?

Promote is not the right word but yes, I believe Indian ethnic wear is a part of the dance culture. The costumes worn in Indian dance complements the way a dancer’s body moves. I find Indian ethnic wear to be beautiful, versatile and unique. All our dance performances include Indian ethnic wear.
Indian dance company
3. What is the type of ethnic wear that dominates your wardrobe?

Sadly I don’t wear as much ethnic wear as I would like to. Right now I’m looking to buy some new Kurtis that I can wear for rehearsals and classes. Otherwise, most of the ethnic wear in my closet are lehengas, sarees, and suits for weddings and special occasions.
dance culture
4. How important is the style and type of clothing one picks for dance?

The clothes also reflect and enhance the movement of various dance styles. For example, the folk dance of Rajasthan and Gujrat, both look spectacular in lehengas. However, the folk dance of Punjab requires a Patiala and kurta to accentuate the movements.

5. What are the things that you look out for when you pick your crew’s outfit?

The costumes are as important as they become a part of the dance. We focus on color, fabric, fit and movement when picking our costumes which is something we found best in the EthnoVogue collection.
costumes worn in Indian dance
6. How did you come across Cbazaar?

That’s a great question! I actually met Rajesh (Co-Founder and CEO of Cbazaar) in New York in 2014 (almost exactly 4 years ago) at the Indian Independence Day Parade in Manhattan. Ajna dance artists were dancing with the Cbazaar float and that’s when I learned about Cbazaar. Shortly thereafter we ordered our first set of dance costumes and have been working with Cbazaar since.

7. How has your experience with Cbazaar been?

The experience has been great. From the customer service to the quality and attention to detail, everyone I work with at Cbazaar, goes above and beyond to ensure we get the highest quality products and service.