BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance

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BEHIND THE SCENES AT ROSS 2016

September 6, 2016

Week 8 with Teresa!

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Week 8 closed out the season at Ross, and we made every minute count! These seven spirited dancers threw themselves into their studies with energy and ambition. Even though our week was one day shorter than usual, these dancers still wanted to learn and perform a third dance for the showing, in addition to all of our technical and creative exercises!

Monday, we studied hip hop, focusing on syncopation with the music and footwork. The dancers truly loved our dance, Salute! See here.

Tuesday, we focused on contemporary dance, working with texture and changes in speed, as well as floor work, and several types of turns. See here. Wednesday was our musical theatre day. We had such a wonderful time creating a swing dance remix with music from The Great Gatsby. See here. In the dance minor, we had an intimate group of three lovely dancers with diverse backgrounds in dance. We did a mix of modern and contemporary dance techniques, and created one short introduction in our showing to Rihanna’s ubiquitous song “Work,” and a longer piece including solos to “Figure Me Out.”  See here and here.

We got wild on Friday with the Lip Sync Battle. Special shout-out to the amazing dancers on team white, rock on! The dancers in the Week 8 Major and Minor worked very well as teams to create and challenge themselves with movement each day. It was great to dance with them, and we hope to see everyone again next summer!

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Leading the dance major and minor for the final week of Ross Summer Program was truly rewarding. It is bittersweet to say goodbye on the final day after witnessing the students’ growth over the past eight weeks; the friendships they make, the skills they learn, and so much more. We at BodyStories wish all of our summer dance program students the very best during their 2016/17 school year. If you’re interested in joining BodyStories for dance afterschool,  please contact education@bodystoriesfellion.org or 646.662.5128 for more information. Congratulations all on a great summer!

BEHIND THE SCENES AT ROSS 2016

August 22, 2016

Week 7 with Julia!

Week 7 at The Ross School was a blast! The dance major had four talented and energetic students who always tried everything and had a great time dancing. Day one we learned modern technique, including our modern dance flat backs and drop swings. The dancers also worked in partners to create duets with secret handshakes. We worked together to create a dance to Flo Rida’s “Welcome to My House.” See here.

We had lots of fun on day 2 in our hip hop class working on our sassy walks and putting together our hip hop routine! Our attitude was put to work as we danced to “Worth It,” by Fifth Dimension. See here.

Day 3 we were soft and regal in our ballet class where we learned new vocabulary and practiced our first, second, and fifth positions! The dancers were the spirit of elegance in our ballet routine, set to the ubiquitous “Hello,” by Adele.

Friday’s showing was a huge success. Adapting to a schedule conflict, two of our students transformed all of our routines from quartets to duets and they did an amazing job. All the musical theater students stopped by to watch so we had a big audience!
One of my favorite camper quotes from the week was “I wish my school had dance during the year!” That was from El who had never danced before!
It was a great week in the Hamptons all around!

BEHIND THE SCENES AT ROSS 2016

August 18, 2016

Week 6 with Mia!

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Week 6 consisted of a group of 7 dancers ready to learn, play, and perform. We began day 1 by introducing ourselves. We did so by dancing the spelling of our names utilizing various parts of the body.  Each dancer came up with a unique way to dance and shape the letters that make up their first name.  We were able to transition this improvisation into little solo moments in our modern/contemporary dance later that day.  

We explored several warm up phrases using modern techniques such as under-curve swings, head to tail connection, and floor work. Then we began putting together a contemporary modern routine using some of the phrases from warm up along with our name improvisations, and various spatial patterns.  The routine was to the Glee cast’s version of “Yesterday” by The Beatles.  The young ladies performed the dance with wonderful ease and awareness. See here.

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On day 2, we began to explore jazz technique. Our warm up consisted of isolations, and a lot of lunges and stretches.  We went across the floor doing battement phrases and pirouettes combinations.  The jazz was tough, because of the more rigid technique, but the girls stuck with it and prevailed. We did our routine to the latest Beyonce hit “Hold Up.” It’s a fun summer jam that allowed the girls to explore their sassiness on top of executing tough jazz techniques, as well as a classic kick line! See here

On day 3, we came in feeling tired and sore.  Wednesdays are always tough.  But we swiftly pumped up the energy to start learning hip hop grooves. We discussed the origin of hip hop dance and how there is always a strong connection to music and community.  From there, we learned some eighties hip hop moves, and then moved our way into the new millennium to some of the recent hip hop crazes.  YES we did the “Whip and Nay Nay.” Then we put it all together in a routine.  See here. Our counselor Amanda had the idea to do a flash mob with the hip hop dances that other campers might know.  And we were able to perform our dance, flash mob style, during lunch break on Thursday. See here.

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The remaining two days were spent going over the techniques we learned and perfecting our dances. Friday was our big performance day.  All the parents came and we also had the early childhood department come down to see our moves.  It was super fun and rewarding.

It was pretty much a consensus with all the dance campers that their favorite routine was the hip hop routine.  And speaking to each of them individually, the majority said their favorite exercise was a trust exercise we did on Wednesday, in which one partner keeps her eyes closed while the other partner guides her through the space without crashing her into the walls or another group.  We really grew as dancers and as a team throughout the week.  With two more weeks left, the dance majors are on fire!

 

Behind the Scenes at Ross 2016

August 8, 2016

Week 5 with Teresa!

In teaching two weeks in a row, I had a chance to really get to know the students and faculty at Ross. I feel like I learned as much about movement expression and invention in the games of “dance catch” that I played in “off” time after class, as I did in the studio. The students here really digest the tools offered to them to create their own inventions in a magical way. One student from last week is even singing “Eye of the Tiger in her Glee Club minor this week. She is obsessed and I love it!

I had the joy of leading an amazingly vibrant group of seven students Week 5, including our supportive Counselor In Training, Isabella! With this amount of energy, we kept all of the dances light and rapid.

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We focused on a Jazz Dance on Day One, set to the infectious music of Jason Derulo.  Watch it [HERE!] I couldn’t help but bring back a retro theme day after our request for Eye of the Tiger last week. No live band this week, but we did an extended dance to [Groove is in the Heart] by Dee-Lite with tons of turns, jumps, and handstands. Go 90’s!

For hip hop we danced to Meghan Trainor’s “NO” in a majorly empowering way. It was great to explore some of the floorwork we had been doing in technique class, and work with the music.

During Week Five, I also had the opportunity to assist Michael Apuzzo from the Paul Taylor Dance Company in a workshop for Ross Students. Dancing with and helping to lead the high school and younger students in the circular choreography was a great way to witness my students’ growth from another perspective. Watch the dance [HERE].

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Each week at Ross brings new creative challenges. I look forward to Week Eight!

BEHIND THE SCENES AT ROSS 2016

August 1, 2016

Week 4 with Teresa!

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In starting my third year teaching and directing the Ross Summer Dance Program, I was looking forward to further defining the expectations and standards of our dance curriculum, and to designing classes that are exploratory, challenging, and fun for all of the dancers involved. I was also so excited to see our students who I have enjoyed getting to know over the years. They continually engage me with their depth of imagination, intelligence, and creativity!

Week Four was a group of four dedicated dancers that were an absolute delight. Our first day we focused on Jazz technique, and then created a dance to Justin Bieber’s catchy beats. It was a light and fun dance, focusing on our fancy footwork. Watch it [here]!

Our next dance technique was contemporary. The dancers embodied intentional focus, sustained movements, and partnered very well with the music. As per special request by The Ross Rock Band, we did a Throwback Dance Day and created a dance to “Eye of the Tiger.” You can see [our version] where we ate up the whole studio space, and then contained it to perform in the band room. It was such a fun experience to perform this dance in two locations, and to feel the intensity of the live music behind our Rocky-themed movements!

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During Week Four I also had the opportunity to choreograph with the dance minor students. We had a wonderful time working with one of my favorite music artists, LCD Soundsystem, appropriately named “Home.” BodyStories has been performing our newest work, HOME this year, and a piece of it followed me out here to East Hampton.

BEHIND THE SCENES AT OUR ROSS SCHOOL RESIDENCY 2016

July 25, 2016

Week 3 with Geena!

As I arrived in Bridgehampton on Saturday, the song Happy with Me by Holychild started playing in my ears. I used this song last year at the Ross School for choreography and found it to be the perfect theme for my arrival.

This week we covered lyrical/modern dance, hip-hop and a [dance from Trinidad].  The students were all so excited and eager to have fun and enjoy dance!  I pushed the dancers to be more creative than ever – to put their whole body and emotions into the dance, to take risks and make up creative movements on their own.  As a reward we played lots of movement games.

We did interviews of their favorite activities: Sophia, Gabby and Matilda all loved the Cheetah Girls dance.  Watch the dance [HERE]!

Rénee’s favorite dance was You’ve Got Time.  You can certainly see their personalities come to the surface in this dance.  Watch it [HERE]!

And Mission Impossible was unanimously chosen as a favorite game – a movement game across the floor with a few curveballs!

All in all, so much fun!

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STEPPING INTO WEEK 2

July 19, 2016

Week 2 with Monica!

This week I had a terrific group of six young students who took on Creative movement, Jazz, Contemporary, and Modern movement. Many were returning students and it was exciting to see students I had taught two years ago! Here’s how the week went–

We explored modern movement on Day 1 along with creative movement exercises and composition. Our favorite exercise was the Statue Game. The students paired up and one became the artist and the other the statue. They learned how to communicate without speaking and found creative poses! We also created duets using movement from abstractly spelling their names.

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Day 2 was Jazz day, which was their favorite. We moved through classic jazz technique including jazz walks, kicks, and leaps. I choreographed our dance to Justin Timberlake’s new song Can’t Stop the Feeling and they could not get enough of it!  Watch the video [here]!

Day 3 was our day to explore contemporary movement, stage presence, and emotions while dancing. Out improvisation for the day came from looking into how certain emotions inspire us to move in different ways. Energy, focus, and listening to the music helped us dive deeper into our contemporary dance to Adele’s Someone Like You.  Watch the video [here]!

Day 4 was more in depth modern dance techniques including floor work! We also explored mirroring and weight sharing with partners. We had so m to review for our show that we practiced all afternoon!

The students had a fabulous performance on Friday and they were so excited to share with family, friends, and fellow campers!  We also supported the theater major by watching their production of Alice and Wonderland.

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That’s a wrap!

BEHIND THE SCENES AT OUR ROSS SCHOOL RESIDENCY 2016

July 12, 2016

Week 1 with Lily!

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BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance is excited to be at the Ross Summer Program again this year! We’ve just finished our first week and it’s amazing how much progress we made. Ross started off with a small, focused group of only 3 dancers this holiday week, so everyone got plenty of one-on-one time with the teachers.

On Day 1, Teresa joined me for some contemporary work. After some warmups of leg swings, rolls and leaps, the students and teachers collaborated to create a contemporary dance set to Beyoncé’s “Halo.”  Over the course of just one lesson, all three students developed focus and control.  Watch the dance [HERE]!

Day 2 was something brand-new for Ross! Growing up in a Polish community with a Polish grandma, Polish folk dance was an important part of my dance training. It was so exciting to share this part of my identity with the students at Ross. Traditional Polish dance is done with a partner in a large group, and emphasizes strength, precision, and precise, accented rhythms. We practiced polkas and partnering, then rounded off the lesson with a variation of the Krakowiak, a traditional dance that first rose to popularity in 1830! Please take a look at our Krakowiak [HERE]!

Day 3 was jazz, which bears a surprising amount of similarities to the polkas, both emphasizing syncopated rhythms and decisive movements. My students used the musicality and control they developed from the previous two lessons to dig deep and feel the beat, hit their poses and move fluidly through them. It all came together in our final dance, an homage to “Center Stage” set to “The Way You Make Me Feel,” by Michael Jackson.  

Week 1 was short, and there’s so much more ground I wanted to cover. In just three days, these dancers grew by leaps and bounds and we still have so much to look forward to!

Learn more about Audrey Rachelle!

December 6, 2015

12401970_10153850920068000_3109333533567981315_oI was born in Portland, Oregon on November 15th, 1990. I spent the first half of my childhood in Portland getting rained on. The second half I spent in the Sonoran Desert. My parents believe living in extreme conditions builds character, but that’s not why I’m in New York City right now. I came to New York to live large in a tiny two-bedroom apartment with two of my sisters. After a year of that, we realized we needed to move into a large apartment and fill it with lots of cats.

I ate an orange and became a dancer.

I also perform with The Equus Projects/Onsite NYC and AnA Collaborations, an arts collective that I co-direct with Alex Jenkins. I’m very passionate about equality and enjoy engaging in other art forms. I enjoy the openness that Teresa’s process and work allows for. To me, the overarching theme of Teresa’s work is studying, exposing, and questioning the human experience.FullSizeRender-1
I’m currently teaching myself to dance, it’s pretty time consuming. I love to take classes from teachers who understand progression, who encourage curiosity and individualism, and who listen and respond to the energy in the room. In general I like to take classes at Gibney Dance because I feel at home there and yes, because I’m biased.

Learn more about Alex Jenkins!

November 29, 2015

unnamed-2Alex Jenkins was born October 23, 1990 in Riverside, CA.

I lived in San Francisco for many years and wanted to expand my opportunities in NYC. I went to ballet class in the womb! Growing up, my mother continued taking me to train in ballet schools where she taught, and I stuck with it when I realized early that I wanted to become professional.

In addition to BodyStories I perform with my own company, AnA unnamed-2Collaborations, co-directed with fellow BodyStories member, Audrey Rachelle. I also teach middle-schoolers movement in an after-school organization called Global Kids. 

I’ve only been through one full process with Teresa so far, but as we’ve just begun a new work I do feel that there are some similar themes popping up between the two works. There is a lot of psychological exploration especially with the concept of sanity which, for me, manifests in the ideas of togetherness vs. separateness, comfort vs. discomfort, and a bit of fight-or-flight. 

Gaga is my favorite way to train and discover. Listening, giving in, letting go, finding pleasure, effort and groove. Don’t need much else! 

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I eat a lot for a tiny person! I don’t watch my diet much but I usually don’t get down with the artificial and the processed. I love food, nature, travel, love–the usual 🙂 I really love being allowed to be off-the-wall, creative, and collaborative.