Bharatanatyam: Indian Dance

The classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam survived colonial oppression and today exemplifies Indian identity both at home and abroad.


About Priyadarsini Govind

"Dance is such a complete line with visuals, poetry, drama, music…you use your whole body to communicate all of this," says Priyadarsini Govind.

A graduate in commerce from the University of Madras, Chennai, Priyadarsini holds a diploma in Mass Communication, but Bharatanatyam has been her first love ever since she was six.

After initial grooming under Smt. Usha, Priyadarsini specialized in abhinaya under 'Padma Bhushan' Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan from the age of nine. Priyadarsini received advanced training in Bharatanatyam under Guru Swamimalai K. Rajaratnam, exponent of the Vazhvoor School from the age of ten. Priyadarsini imbibes the best of both her teachers.

Priyadarsini has been giving recitals from the age of sixteen, and has performed in numerous sabhas and academies in India and abroad.

(from artist's website)

About Shaily Dadiala

Shaily Dadiala 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.

(from Usiloquy Dance Designs)

About Anwesha Dutta

Anwesha Dutta was trained in Bharatnatyam and Navanritya at Dancers’ Guild, in the vibrant and culturally rich city of Calcutta, under the tutelage of late Gurus Drs. Manjushri Chaki-Sircar and Ranjabati Sircar. At dancers’ guild she trained with Ms. Sangeeta Dey and other gurus. She has performed extensively and organized many shows both in India and the US and has received accolades for her creativity in productions and event management. Her unique experience not only encompasses classical dance & Navanritya, but also includes a variety of Indian folk dances (East, North, and Western Indian folk dance styles) and Rabindrik-style (Gurudev Rabindanath Tagore’s). She continues to refresh her artistic knowledge by attending celebrity dancers’ workshops and lectures demonstrations. She extends her thanks to Mr. Sanjib Bhattacharya, a senior dancer originally from Dancers’ Guild for coming to the US to help teach Anwesha’s students Chhau (martial arts) and Manipuri (Eastern Classical Dance).

Anwesha is highly trained in Classical Music and has a Sangeet Visharad in Hindusthani (North Indian) Music. She was an All Indian Radio singer since the age of 6. She continues to sing and compose music for her students’ dance recitals.

(from Nava Nritya Dance Academy)