After the invigorating Diwali event at Cherry Street Pier in 2021, Usiloquy Dance Designs returns to the Riverwards with Philadholphia, a celebration of South Asian music and dance. Usiloquy’s dancers will perform Chaat based upon Indian dance form Bharatanatyam and present Rini’s Indian Electronica and Art Rock music. The two show runs will be followed by a moderated Artist interaction session, with the evening show including a sampling of edibles.
‘Dhol’ in multiple South Asian languages is a barrel-shaped, double-sided drum. The heart-thumping rhythm of the dhol is a public invitation to partake in festive performances.
Inspired by the myriad textures and flavors of the namesake streetside snack, Chaat is Usiloquy’s original contemporary work consisting of solos, duets, and ensemble pieces. The varied elements that go into the making of a Chaat dish serve as metaphors on stage for the commonality of human experiences while emphasizing the distinct nuances of a subculture and its people. Choreographed by Artistic Director Shaily Dadiala, Chaat premiered at the Painted Bride Art Center in 2009. This is a complete remount with a smattering of new aesthetics.
Shifting South Asian classical elements toward pop and jazz sensibilities, New Jersey-based, Chennai-born singer, composer, and violinist Harini “Rini” Raghavan creates her own version of Indian electronica. Harini draws from her formal training in Carnatic music and work at Berklee College of Music to bring together sounds of her birthplace in India and her home in the US. She leads a group of acclaimed musicians of different genres that add their unique influences to create a contemporary soundscape.
“With her powerful, often ferocious mezzo-soprano, carnatically-influenced violin lines, Raghavan led the group through a dynamic set that blended Trans-Siberian Orchestra pomp with distantly macabre early ELO and even more towering cinematics.”
~ New York Music Daily
“…Chaat was upbeat-even a bit funky-Usiloquy is to be applauded for bridging the gap between traditional dance and modern audiences with such sensitivity, creativity and gusto.”
~ The Dance Journal