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BodyStories:Teresa Fellion Dance
www.bodystoriesfellion.org


BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance is a contemporary dance company that strives to capture and communicate universal human encounters through dynamic, purposeful movement. Bodystories is a multifaceted, highly physical company laced with provocative, emotional, political, and humorous edges. Artistic Director Teresa Fellion’s work is highly choreographed in every moment and intellectually oriented. The repertory is intricately technical and controlled in each nuance, but maintains an aesthetic that is uncontrived.  The dances examine the depths of societies in their darkest and brightest moments and inspire audiences to physically sense emotional and psychological aspects of the human condition on stage.

In addition to creating and performing innovative works, the company is also committed to reaching diverse populations through outreach and education. Fellion’s company values international exchange - collectively speaking nine languages and researching, performing, and collaborating with artists from four continents. Additionally, the company’s performances often include live music and feature collaborations across a variety of mediums – dance, music, puppetry, lighting, costume, video, and set design.

Teresa Fellion is a choreographer, dancer, writer, and educator who has created dance for over ten years. As an independent artist, Teresa has presented works at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jacob’s Pillow, The Public Theater, University of Florida, ENTPE University (Lyon, France), NYU, BAAD!, the Merce Cunningham Studio, Naropa University, and on stages with the rock band Phish, among others. Fellion formed BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance in 2011, and, as artistic director, creates new works in collaboration with her dancers. Since its inception, the company has performed at many prestigious theaters including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Bryant Park SummerStage, Booking Dance Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland), Dixon Place, DNA, and the University of Maine. Teresa Fellion boasts an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College. Additionally, she has earned a BA in English, French, and Creative Writing, with a minor in Dance as a merit scholar at NYU. In 2006 Teresa was the sole recipient of the American Dance Guild Fellowship for Jacob’s Pillow’s Choreographers’ Lab. Cameroonian President Paul Biya named Fellion “Artistic Liaison between Cameroon & U.S.” during her one-year stay in the country for performing with dance companies and percussion ensembles, like National Ballet du Cameroun, at The National Soccer Cup Finals

"Bodystories/Teresa Fellion Dance have stepped bravely up to the mirror and refused to shy away from our most unpleasant characteristics, while unfailingly celebrating the potential for beauty within each of us. Through repeated movements, loving touches and some of the angriest dance I have ever seen women undertake on the stage, this group has created true magic.” -Caroline Whitham, Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

“Teresa Fellion’s choreography is like a car engine of movement; transference of energy that is constantly remolded, shifted, and brings us to a beautiful place…”
-Celeste Miller, Jacob’s Pillow International Dance Festival


Touring Programs

Mixed Repertory Program
Mix of work exploring psychological states by critically acclaimed choreographer, Teresa Fellion, developed in collaboration with the company. Performances often include live music.

Fault Line, The Border Project, Erosion: Aftermath, No One Gets Out of Here Alive, as well as excerpts from Mantises and Control Dominion
 
Split Bill Program
Flipping Dominion: An Evening of Two Contrasting Works by BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance. This evening of dance gives audiences a sense of two completely different works-Control Dominion and The Mantises Are Flipping (P.S. I’ll have whatever they’re having). Can tour with or without live music.
 
Youth Programs:
Adolescents and Pre-Adolescents
No One Gets Out of Here Alive
NOGOOHA, for short, is a work suitable for adults or teens/children. It is an adult commentary on adolescent behavior with a Brechtian slant. It investigates themes of bullying, and it travels with technique, team-building, and conflict-resolution workshops.

Young Audiences
Fox Knocks Twice
Fox Knocks Twice, in the style of Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat, travels with complementary workshops.

Piece Descriptions
Control Dominion
Dancers in a cyborg society struggle with personal autonomy versus governmental control. Opposing forces of surrender and domination reveal harrowing pitfalls of the proselytizing hive mind. Dynamic progressions become chocked full of manic activity as dancers fling, throw, jerk, jump, stiffen, fall, roll, lift, and engage sometimes beyond their capacity to control. The electronic soundscape, composed by John Yannelli, includes mechanical sound effects, robotic beats, and a driving pulse. Max MSP Sci-Fi Video installation by Fellion has intermittent systematically set timing and futuristically programmed images. Tight, metallic, geometric suits with patched strips of honor glow under flashes of light.
(Performed in theaters or in industrial, site-specific locations.)

The Mantises are Flipping. P.S. (I’ll have whatever they’re having)
The Mantises Are Flipping (P.S. I’ll have whatever they’re having) investigates reactions and relationships to sound, exploring various dualities through movement. The organization of sound and movement in the work establishes a world in which the two elements are indistinguishable. Musician/composer Ryan Edwards performs live with the dancers, and the dancers contribute sounds of varying lengths, intention, volume, and rhythmic complexity. The piece creates a voyeuristic point of observation into the idiosyncratic worlds and relationships among eight individuals.

Fault Line
A quartet reflects growth, repetition, contrast, intimacy, separation, and parallels of human relationships at varying levels of connection. Complicated phrase work and partnering embodies how relationships and movement can ricochet, burst, support, harmonize, and suspend. Fault Line establishes complex roles of two co-existing relationships, both isolated and intertwined, and the dissolution of each. Natural images include blossoming flowers, disintegration into imbalanced rumbling, and the explosive elements of an earthquake.

Composition by Teresa Fellion includes cello, piano, and two vocalists. Work can be presented with vocalists integrated into the performance.

Erosion: Aftermath
Six female dancers emerge as distinctive individuals through their physicality, living in a storm and its aftermath. Their various psychological responses propel movement that creates community, isolation, nurturing, tantrums, fear, rebuilding, and support. Developed partnering, phrases, and interactions during intense passages “challenge the retina” and create a “puree” of movement that seamlessly connects. There are sculptural, weighted, foreboding, chaotic, aftershock, and apocalyptic moments. In conclusion, dancers lead a ceremonial procession with planks to construct a square, stepping inside to convey coming home or common ground.

Scenic design (with or without) is four distressed pine boards dancers carry, use for ritual, and for building a communal frame. Ominous wind and sound effects, swirling and rhythmic intensity, and nurturing sensitive strings comprise John Yannelli’s composition. Lighting is shadowed, which highlights a psychological/apocaplyptic nature. Costumes are period, reminiscent of Dorothea Lange photos and Grapes of Wrath, as well as distressed earthy layers of bleached, burlapped, tea dyed designs by David Moyer.

The Border Project
A physical response to the dilemma of human migration, Border carves out a corporeal map of the familiar and unfamiliar, addressing subtler psychic borders that occur among the displaced and their pursuit of happiness and identity. In this journey, dancers embody what happens on the social level and recreate it on a magnified, human level. On an athletic, highly technical, and emotional trajectory of movement, dancers build and climb multilevel walls, collide, press, travel, wind, delineate, and reach. If a border were simply a line drawn in the dirt…

Through study of languages including French, Spanish, Italian, Swahili, and Bulu, living abroad in four countries, and work experiences at UN African missions, Teresa Fellion has a vested interest in cultural differences and assimilation. Her company examined their own and researched others’ experiences of immigration in order to create a psychological, political, and emotional basis for this work.

No One Gets Out of Here Alive
A comedic dance-theater piece about the awkwardness of junior high and the plastic regressions of adulthood, NOGOOHA explores the differences between mature and immature behavior via adult commentary with a Brechtian Slant. The clothes thing, boob thing, boyfriend thing - nasty, gossipy, destructive behavior, and much more are all illuminated through an excitingly quirky, deconstructed dance vocabulary that includes hormonal dance movements, quick physical mood shifts, provocative tableaux, slow motion fight scenes, lip-syncing, athletic partnering, exaggerated facial expressions, situational comedy, dream sequences, and “inventive” committed social dancing.

NOGOOHA is loosely based on Teresa’s astute observations as a nerdy, shy, 6th grade “outsider.” Through boy short hair (when it wasn’t fashionable), coke bottle glasses, argyle sweater vests, and 104 point GPA, Teresa saw that cliques and power dynamics were unhealthy—and hilarious.

Fox Knocks Twice
BodyStories partners with schools and youth programs. Fox Knocks Twice is an interactive children’s dance-theater performance relative to Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat with athletic, imaginative movement, expressive action and faces, and lively narration. Students first read the tale, are then incorporated into the show, and afterwards discuss themes and relay personal reactions.

Fox is often accompanied by lecture-demonstrations, a Q&A, dance classes, and workshops, which include a “write your own ending contest” (that the company performs), teamwork building, conflict resolution, text and movement, character analysis, daily life problem-solving, trust building exercises, and role-playing improvisations where children identify characters’ emotional patterns and make comparisons to their own lives. Students also create an orchestra where they are responsible for making sound effects for assigned words, facilitating musical awareness, and extending focus. Program is customizable and can be geared for grades K–4, older, and special education students. Accepted by DOE NYC standards for creative arts programming.




Outreach

BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance has an extensive outreach program that involves technical instruction and creativity with a hands-on approach. The company designs programs specifically for each client, which match the unique hopes and needs of individual communities.

Certified and well-equipped to teach a wide range of populations: Professional, Young Adults (pre-professional and recreational dancers), Young Children (pre-K through elementary), “Non-Dancers” (ranging from corporate business groups to juvenile hall programs), Special Needs (alternative arts programming for physical and mental disabilities or disorders), Senior Citizens.
 



Performance Calendar


2013
August 14-18

 


Booking Dance Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland)


September

 

Brooklyn Arts Council Grants Performance Immersion with Carver Audain and Stephan Moore (Brooklyn, New York)



October 12

 

The Dance Gallery UP Close Festival (Ailey Citigroup Theater)



November 8-10

 

American Dance Guild Festival (92nd St. Y)


2014
January

 


APAP Showcases (Jazz at Lincoln Center)


February 7-8

 

Take Root Series Split Bill (Queens, New York)



April

 

Strefa Wonoslowa Foundation Festival of Theater and Dance (Warsaw, Poland)Stor



   
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