Distinguished young Kathak dancer


Jahanara was only 24 when she died. She had nonetheless devoted 19 years of her short life to studying her art, making her first solo performance in 1993 in Lahore before moving to Canada in 1994.

She left for India in August 1998 on her second Chalmers Award and a Canada Council Grant to study with the Chandraleka Dance Company in Chennai, Madras. Having learned as much as she could from Chandraleka, she subsequently went to Lahore to begin studying with her original Guru, Nahid Siddiqui. Dancer Sylvie Bouchard says she was "incredibly struck by her immensely generous presence" and asked Ms. Akhlaq to perform in her Dusk Dances that summer. Toronto Kathak dancer Joanna Das says, "She was insightful beyond her years: a beautiful, beautiful person."

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