Usiloquy Dance Designs creates traditional and cross-cultural productions of Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam and conducts educational programs.
Usiloquy is dictated by the ancient vocabulary of Bharatanatyam to synthesize works based upon cross cultural content, pushing the confines of traditional Bharatanatyam with universal influences in music, narration and costumes.
Founded in 2008 by Artistic Director Shaily Dadiala to supplement the Greater Philadelphia area’s need for an Indian Classical dance platform, Usiloquy Dance Designs is the only contemporary Bharatanatyam organization of its kind in the region, creating unique works that cross cultural boundaries and builds bridges between diverse audience communities. Usiloquy works to create a conduit between the age old dance form that originated in the temples of Southern India to schools and concert halls serving over 15,000 audience members till date.
A typical day of holistic learning and rehearsing for Usiloquy’s dancers consists of stretching, vigorous practice, refinement of technique and theoretical principles.
The 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.