Stay in the Loop
BSR publishes on a weekly schedule, with an email newsletter every Wednesday and Thursday morning. There’s no paywall, and subscribing is always free.
With a pandemic, rising gun violence, the war in Ukraine, and countless other tragic events, one might mistakenly assume that performances and productions are echoing that sort of misery. Usiloquy Dance Designs's upcoming performance, however, proves that plays and dance performances can still find joy and levity.
A blend of flavors
Usiloquy will perform their original production Chaat this weekend at the Fringe Arts Auditorium, as part of their Philadholphia event. Meghna Gummadi, one of the dance company’s performers explained that Chaat is like “a culmination of different flavors of Indian street food that is supposed to be spicy and tangy. Our pieces represent the flavors.”
There will be four solo dances followed by a finale where all seven members of the Usiloquy Dance Designs dance together on stage. “The finale is a culmination of all the flavors coming together,” said Gummadi.
Usiloquy founder and artistic director Shaily Dadiala, developed the performance. Dadiala and Usiloquy last performed Chaat in 2009 at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia. Finally, after a 13-year hiatus, Usiloquy will perform Chaat again.
“Except for me, all the other dancers will be performing this for the first time,” said Dadiala. Another difference is that this time Rini’s Indian Electronica and Art Rock band will join the dance company on stage.
Dadiala also noted that Chaat is based on the classical dance form Bharatanatyam.
“Bharatanatyam is [two to three] thousand years old,” said Dadiala. The Chaat performance will be a combination of both traditional and modern dances.
“In this dance, we want to cover things that are relevant,” said Dadiala.
“Chaat is a metaphor for food,” Dadiala said. She believes that Indian food can be complex, but at the end of the day, the message is that people of various backgrounds have more similarities than differences. The food brings people together. “Let’s all meet and try to understand each other better through food.”
What, When, Where
Philadholphia. Usiloquy Dance Designs. $5-$25. Saturday, November 12, 2022, at FringeArts & LaPeg, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia. (267) 324-5917 or usiloquydancedesigns.org.
Sign up for our newsletter
All of the week's new articles, all in one place. Sign up for the free weekly BSR newsletters, and don't miss a conversation.