About Usiloquy

Mission

Usiloquy Dance Designs creates traditional and cross-cultural productions of Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam and conducts educational programs.

History

Usiloquy uses the ancient vocabulary of Bharatanatyam to create works of cross cultural content. It pushes traditional Bharatanatyam with universal influences in music, narration and costumes.

Usiloquy Dance Designs is the only contemporary Bharatanatyam organization of its kind in the region. It was founded in 2008 by Artistic Director Shaily Dadiala to serve the Greater Philadelphia area’s need for an Indian Classical dance platform. Usiloquy builds bridges between diverse audience communities and the age old dance form that originated in the temples of Southern India.

A typical day of holistic learning and rehearsing for Usiloquy’s dancers consists of stretching, vigorous practice, refinement of technique and theoretical principles.

Bharatanatyam dance form

Bharatanatyam is a highly structured, complex dance style that traces its roots to Southern India thousands of years back in time. It is a dynamic, percussive dance form characterized by striking the sole, heel and ball of the foot in countless permutations and combinations with hand gestures-‘Mudras’ and multidimensional arrangements of arms and legs forming at once statuesque and fluid patterns. Emphatic facial expressions and body language reflecting the theme add further layers making it a myriad collage of text, poetry and movement. A typical Bharatanatyam performance is accompanied by Classical South Indian Carnatic music, and the dancer uses elaborate silk costumes fashioned out of saris and jewelry as embellishments.

Artistic Director

Shaily Dadiala (Prasad) was born in 1978 in Bardoli, India. At the age of 9, she felt called to study Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam and to become a dancer.

Ms. Dadiala founded Usiloquy Dance Designs in 2008; she is the Artistic Director, choreographer and Principal Dancer. She completed her B.A. in Dance specializing in Bharatanatyam from the Bruhad Gujarat Sangeet Samiti, India (1988-1994) and 2 year training in Hindustani Classical Music from 1987 to 1989. Ms. Dadiala choreographed and performed at several dance competitions and festivals in India between 1990 and 1996.

After moving to the USA in 2000, Ms. Dadiala taught in Queens, NY for a year before commencing Bharatanatyam classes in Levittown, PA in collaboration with the township recreation department in 2005. These classes with 3 levels of learning are currently taught in center city Philadelphia. Apart from the ongoing classes, Ms. Dadiala’s teaching assignments have included workshops and Master classes at the Thomas Jefferson University and Temple University in Philadelphia and Desales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. In the fall of 2009, Ms. Dadiala was invited to design the curriculum and teach at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Ms. Dadiala’s choreography and performing work has included three evening length works of Bharatanatyam for Usiloquy. Primary among special commissions have been the Philadelphia Geographical Society Festival of India, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts and the Experience Asia festival at the College of New Jersey. The original works have been performed at The Queens Museum Theater in New York, The Kimmel Center for the performing Arts and the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia. Her work has been supported by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Samuel S.Fels Fund and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She is also a recent recipient of the Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change Grant.

Board of Directors

Shaily Dadiala (Prasad), President & Artistic Director
Barb J. Baur, Treasurer

Barb serves as the Treasurer on Usiloquy’s board. She oversees all activities related to budgeting and financial planning. She is a Philadelphia based artist and educator who makes and designs things, primarily art jewelry as well as an adjunct professor at Temple University Tyler School of Art, runs the Tacony LAB Community Arts Center and has her own business, Fair Winds Jewelry. Barb is a sailor and has a continuing fascination with wind, water, waves and the forms of sailing vessels. When she is not running a business or making jewelry, Barbara is an artist, musician, published author, home-schooling mother, and spent six year as in-home caregiver for one of her best friends. Barbara has several years’ experience as a board member and committee chair with her previous church in Florida and underwent a Leadership Training by the Florida District UUA.

Dr. Maureen Gibney

Dr. Gibney is a teaching professor in the Drexel University Department of Psychology, where among her other mentoring responsibilities she is faculty advisor for Drexel Dandiya, a competitive team focused on bringing Gujarati dance to a wider audience. In addition to her teaching, she presents trainings for professionals and staff working in social service and health settings in mental health and aging, and in ethical issues arising in elder care. She continues to fall in love with Indian dance and other forms of artistic expression.

Dancers / Nartakis

Paramita Datta, Principal Dancer
Paramita Datta, Principal Dancer

Paramita began her dance education in India before joining Usiloquy in 2007. She trained for 5 years in Bharatanatyam from the Rajarajeshwari School of Dance in Mumbai. During the course of this training she choreographed and performed in groups and solos in Bharatanatyam and Indian folk styles.

Mira Sophia Adornetto
Mira Sophia Adornetto

Transplanted from California, Mira’s interest in movement began with yoga. She came to Philadelphia where she took a bachelor’s in printmaking, staying on as an employee at her alma mater – the University of the Arts. While working at UArts she discovered a love for dance, taking every movement class she could. In 2010, an opportunity to learn Indian Cinematic dance and Bharatanatyam was not to be missed. Several years and a few performances later, she continues to further her Bharatanatyam practice.

Aney Abraham
Aney Abraham

During her early education in South India, Aney received training in Mohiniyattam, one of Kerala’s traditional dance forms. She performed folk style dances, including Thiruvathira, Oppana, and Kolkadi in school kalolsavams. After high school, she moved to United States where she studied modern dance at Temple University and has performed semi classical Indian dances in cultural festivals. A passion for dance has followed Aney all throughout her life. Though Mohiniyattam is still close to her heart, she returned to dance in 2013 learning and performing Bharatanatyam with Usiloquy.

Sruthi Murlidaran
Sruthi Murlidaran

After 12 years of training under Guru Adayar K. Laksman and Smt. Roja Kanan, Sruthi completed her Arangetram in Chennai. Aside from performances at the Shanmugananda Hall in Mumbai amongst others, being a part of a 1,000 dancer ensemble celebrating 1,000 years of the Tanjore Brihadeeshwar Temple stays one of her proudest performance memories.

Stay in Touch with Usiloquy

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Usiloquy’s work is made possible by generous support from the Samuel S. Fels Fund, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund,
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Leadership support for the New Stages for Dance Initiative is provided by the MetLife Foundation. New Stages for Dance is a program of Dance/USA Philadelphia.

Usiloquy Dance Designs is a not for profit, charitable organization under section 501©(3) of the Federal tax code.

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Usiloquy Dance Designs
Philadelphia, PA 19125