BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance

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January Events & Reflections

January 29, 2021

We are only one month into 2021 and BodyStories has already been busy presenting virtual works, teaching Zoom classes, and preparing for another year of exciting events!

Performances:

Early in the month we shared excerpts from our works Healing Currently Downloading (a dance film in progress), Inwood Erases Hate with Love (an outdoor community engagement performance event developed from reeling → healing), and rose walk green ice (a proscenium production with audience engagement) at this year’s APAP Conference with Pentacle. This event was entirely virtual and it was very interesting to see how each artist adapted their work to fit this new type of performance platform. Dance on film and video creates an entirely new perspective for audiences, and the emphasis on small details and framing made this an intimate event despite the distance in addition to a lively chat in the comments section! 

BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance also participated in this January’s 7MPR Fourth Midnight Virtual Performance! On Jan 23rd we premiered march, a special project with composer Muriel Louveau that combines music, poetry, and movement, featuring dancers Mickayla Clune and Alexa Mamoulides. The thoughts expressed in this piece come from challenges faced in the pandemic of how to cope and belong to a world. Layered video editing was used to create an ethereal world that is comforting and a bit haunting while isolating, and expresses the possibility to find connection across distance especially during this current time of quarantine. This work was specially developed from composition work that was begun with Mickayla and Alexa as students during our 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive. We were pleased with the audience response and we were inspired by the works shown by the other presenting artists. The dance community is so strong! 

Classes: 

January was also an exciting month for BodyStories because we successfully held our first Virtual Winter Intensive! We are so thankful for everyone who participated in the BodyStories’ first ever Virtual Dance Experience Winter Intensive. We are grateful for the commitment and enthusiasm of growing through movement each dancer brought to classes throughout the week. The week culminated with the creation of a dance film put together using phrase work from technique class as well as choreography from the composition class. We are very excited to be releasing this dance film in the coming weeks! It is so important to us that we continue to connect and grow our BodyStories community through dance and education during the pandemic. 

Our weekly pre-professional and professional virtual classes begin February 1 and conclude May 28, 2021. This Spring series will provide us the opportunity to brush up on our foundations, while challenging our minds and bodies to approach movement from a unique and sometimes unfamiliar lens. Dancers will explore and rediscover joy in their movement in a comprehensive class transitioning from a yoga-flow like warm up, into modern and contemporary technique, and ending in extensive phrase work. Classes will also help build composition and improvisation skills by partnering movement, music, and text, as well as investigate the relationship between dance and social justice. The class schedule is as follows

Technique:

Wednesdays 6-7:30pm EST

Thursdays 12:30-2pm EST

Composition & Improvisation:

Fridays 1:30-3:30pm EST

(Bi-weekly)

Additional times available for both classes! Please inquire.

Weekly youth virtual dance classes will also begin February 1st and end May 28th. Our youth classes include movement from BodyStories’ dance curriculum, incorporating different styles and techniques such as contemporary, modern, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, choreography, improvisation, tap, Central and West African, salsa, swing, and more. We have classes designed for all junior dance levels from beginner through pre-professional. Age ranges include 3-5, 6-9, 10-13, and 14-17 years old.

6-9 Year Olds:

Thursdays 5:30-6:30 pm EST

with additional times available!

10-13 Year Olds:

Fridays 3:30-5:00pm EST

with additional times available!

We have classes for all levels of youth dancers ages 3-5, 6-9, 10-13, and 14-17. We have classes for all genders, and also offer boys only classes!

Students may sign up for the entire weekly series, one month, or a single drop-in class! If you sign up for a month or the whole series, then participants are eligible to receive 20% off the total cost. Please do not hesitate to reach out for any financial assistance or scholarship needed. We are completely open to all participants where they are financially during this time.

FOR MORE INFO CONTACT: education@bodystoriesfellion.org

February Events: 

BodyStories is excited to announce an in-person performance opportunity in NYC with Arts On Site as part of their upcoming ARTS ALIVE series. We will be premiering a duet with dancers Serena Chang & Ashley Zimmerman as part of our Healing Currently Downloading process. Tickets are sold online only prior to the event, no tickets are sold at the door, so stay tuned for ticketing information. 

Dates: Feb 26th & 27th 

Times: 6:30pm & 8:30pm 

Location: 12 St Marks Place in the East Village of Manhattan

This performance series has been created to adhere to current COVID-19 restrictions. Each performance is located in a large open studio with proper ventilation with a maximum of 16 guests per performance to allow for social distancing.

January Reflection: 

Amidst the normal busyness of the New Year, January was also a monumental month for women. On January 26th our country swore in Kamala Harris, our 1st female and BIPOC Vice President! Kamala is an inspiration and role model for young girls everywhere and is a living symbol of the power of perseverance in the face of adversity. It was very exciting to witness this important part of history! Inauguration Day was a long time coming, but we can all start to breath again now that our leadership will take care of us all and work to serve our country for the better. Happy tears!  

It is also important to note Martin Luther King Day, which was observed on January 18th. This holiday held a particular weight this year as it is in the midst of the recent call for social justice reform, the further rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and police brutality protests. MLK Day is a reminder that it is our responsibility to better ourselves by taking social action, recognizing bias, and holding each other accountable especially when it is uncomfortable. Let’s raise up the voices of BIPOC and strive to make our society a safe and prosperous palace for all. 

A huge thank you to everyone who supported us this month! We are so grateful. I hope everyone continues to stay healthy and safe both mentally and physically. These last few months have been hard but we are all in this together. We are excited to share what we have in store for you in 2021! 


Year-End Reflections 2020

December 31, 2020

As the New Year approaches, we are excited about all we have accomplished this year and look forward to a strong finish to 2020! This year, with the closing of dance studios, we initiated a successful virtual dance education program that has brought joy to us and our students. BodyStories is grateful to have been able to continue providing a high level of dance education during and despite the ongoing pandemic. We offer an abundance of classes and include needed scholarships to youth, teen, professional, and adult students who want to participate in our classes to sustain their physical training, mental, and emotional health. Your donations allow us to keep these vital programs running!

While remaining a New York City-based dance company, we are grateful to also have a new space to work with in Jefferson, NY. For the last few weeks, we have been unpacking and setting our beautiful new facility. Surrounded by nature and open space, it has been a great time for the company to reflect on past achievements and find renewed energy to keep motivated for the new year. Follow us on social media for updates on the Jefferson space and the future retreat and residency opportunities that are in store!

After the success of our 2020 Summer Virtual Dance Intensive, we will also be offering a new 2021 Winter Dance Intensive for professional and pre-professional dancers! Technique, composition and improvisation classes will be held over Zoom between January 11th – 15th. All levels are welcome! Students will explore different modern and contemporary techniques from BodyStories’ core curriculum.  We hope you will join us in strengthening our bodies and re-centering our minds for the start of the new year! Students can sign up for the full intensive, or choose to drop in with a suggested donation of $10-$15 per class. 

We are also looking forward to an early-January virtual performance opportunity! BodyStories will be participating in Pentacle’s Virtual APAP Conference. We will be sharing excerpts from:

Healing Currently Downloading (a dance film in progress)

Inwood Erases Hate with Love 

rose walk green ice 

The performance will take place on January 8th from 6-9 pm, with the performance link available for viewing until February 7th. We hope you will be able to join us!

BodyStories YouTube Channel

November 27, 2020

This month we had an amazing time showing our work, rose walk green ice, at Pentacle DanceWorks’ Fall Further IX! Our continued connections with virtual audiences and partnerships like Hult, have inspired us this month to revive the BodyStories’ YouTube channel.

We have been working on getting dance footage that has been locked away in our company archives up on YouTube this month, as well as some new dance video releases! We have just released our new Dancer Improv series, which we’ve been posting on our social media, for convenient viewing on YouTube. With this series, we wanted to highlight our dancers and their creations from their homes. Although we have all been working virtually for far too long this year, we continue to dance together and work creatively to express ourselves and get through this challenging time by moving! Being in the virtual world has also been an impetus for us to think creatively and approach our creative processes in new ways, and further embrace and imagine uses for technology. 

We are also releasing full performances and performance clips from the past few years on our channel! Subscribe to BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance on YouTube & turn on post notifications so you never miss a new dance video release!

Thank you to everyone for all of your support in our Fall 2020 season. We are extremely thankful for and proud of the resilience of our dance community. Happy Thanksgiving & have a safe and joyful holiday!🦃 🍂 🍽 🥧

November Events & Reflections

November 11, 2020

November has a lot in store for BodyStories! Read on for updates on our upcoming performance, virtual dance programming, and fundraising campaign.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is December 1, 2020! Donations to BodyStories will allow us to continue offering our virtual dance education classes and will fund scholarships for students in need of financial assistance. As many studios and community centers remain closed, we hope to continue providing dance education to underserved communities.

Please consider donating any amount that is available to you. Every cent goes toward enabling someone to gain a dance education. We are dedicated to expanding opportunities to those who otherwise could not afford this enrichment.

Use this link to donate! https://fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/bodystories-teresa-fellion-dance

November Virtual Performance: Fall Further IX with Pentacle Arts

We have another exciting virtual performance coming up this month! On November 20th at 7:00pm EST, Pentacle (DanceWorks, Inc.) will be holding a digital screening of dance films and performances! BodyStories will premier a special version of our 2018 performance, rose walk green ice, in Chicago! 

To purchase tickets please visit this link. You will have the option of donating $5, $10, or $15 (sliding scale or pay what you can)! https://pentaclefallfurtherix.splashthat.com/

The movement in rose walk green ice comes from a culmination of work begun with Home and Agawam that explores self-awareness within communal bonds. By varying spatial orientation, utilizing various groupings, and highlighting key moments from previous pieces in the trilogy, observers are offered multiple perspectives of each person, from a variety of angles. Through these perspectives, we are offered notions of familial bonding and identity formation, in hopes of becoming more aware and appreciative of the complete self and of those around them. How do previous experiences shape the way we interact with others, and how might we extend more compassion to others? This work has a vibrant, soulful, and healing energy, with a lot of connection amongst everyone onstage, so we thought it would be impactful to share during this time.

Get tickets in advance to secure a spot for the show, and we’ll see you there!

Reflection & Gratitude

Last month, we launched our first ongoing weekly virtual dance class series, and had the amazing opportunity to share work at THREE virtual performance events! We are beyond grateful for both the opportunities and challenges we were met with in October. As November brings new challenges and opportunities, we must regroup & mobilize, because together we are stronger!

These incredible performances we have had the pleasure to take part in are a reminder that even with the constraints of quarantine and the major disruptions in the dance and arts communities this year, our fellow artists who inspire us every day have not stopped working by any means! They continue creating dynamic and compelling work, forming new connections and bonds throughout creative communities, and sharing their art with (virtually) live audiences. And we’ve been working right alongside them! BodyStories has had an abundant and inspiring Fall, even in remote-mode, and we can’t wait for what this coming month holds.

October Virtual Performances

October 14, 2020

Happy Fall! This October we have some very exciting virtual performances coming up! Descriptions on each virtual event are provided below. We would love to share space and time for art with you in this way. 

We are very excited to announce that as part of the LEIMAY Arts in the Community Garden Commissioning Fellowship Program, we will be premiering a new dance film on October 22nd, 2020 of our work in progress! This work in progress has its roots in the foundational work reeling→healing. This work in progress, Healing Currently Downloading, will act as a brand new sequel or second chapter to reeling. While reeling sought to capture the frustration and raw emotion of today’s world, this piece yearns for a resolution to these emotions through purposeful motion, emotion, and action. With dramatic shifts in attitude and form, this work offers audience members a chance to question whether its open-ended conclusion will permit a resolution to the frustration.

Teresa’s work breeds tension below the surface, then propels forward. Instead of focusing on raw emotion, however, we want to search for a solution, or at the very least, a resolution, to our frustration remembering that action and mobilization are instrumental. Teresa began the creative process by designing a work to be performed in the Dorothy Strelsin Memorial Community Garden (LES). We are inspired by the profound impact that this garden has on community-building and encouraging shared space, and plan to continue drawing on these principles as we create movement patterns and interactions with the dancers. We believe there is no better time than now to create this work. This subject matter, although emotionally heavy, must be experienced and contemplated by anyone affected by today’s political climate. reeling→healing’s ability to connect with audience members has been proven, with audience members commenting on how well the piece provokes thought, inspires, and brings communities together with diverse audiences, and our new work will be following a new parallel path with audiences. Since we are currently creating virtually, this in process showing will be sharing movements that we are developing to later perform in the park in this project. There will be a live Q&A with the artists afterwards.  

See our work on Thursday, October 22nd, at 7:30 pm.

Register to view the performance here: https://leimayfoundation.givingfuel.com/outsight-in-leimay-garden-fellows-in-process

For more information on CAVE/LEIMAY visit leimaymain.cavearts.org.

BodyStories’ work will be presented as part of Mark DeGarmo Dance’s Virtual International Arts (VIA) Festival for Social Change! The VIA festival takes place from October 27-29, 2020 at 7PM EST on Zoom. The VIA Festival for Social Change includes 138 artists and scholars from 18 countries showcasing artist-scholar works. The festival aims to captivate an audience that believes in the arts, and foster a sense of artistic and creative community during these socially distant and communally disperse times. We are so grateful to be involved with this amazing group of artists. 

Our performers include Teresa Fellion, Serena Chang, Kate Bishop, Xenia Mansour, and Nicole Kadar.

Our work will be shown on Thursday, October 29th! 

Get tickets in ADVANCE at www.VIA.givesmart.com 

*Zoom Link will be sent to attendees at 5PM Eastern Time the night of the performance. If a donation is made after that time, the MDD staff will send the link via email as soon as possible. For more information on the VIA Festival please visit www.markdegarmodance.org/performance.

We are thrilled to announce that 7Midnights Physical Research Dance Theater will be sharing a portion of our Choreography + Composition Series on October 30th, 2020! This project is part of 7MPR’s creative initiative to celebrate the innovative bodies of work created in quarantine. All of the amazing music featured in our performance is by John Yannelli. Stay tuned for more updates about this performance!

For more information on 7MPR visit www.7mpr.com.

Virtual Dance Experience Fall Classes

September 18, 2020

Exploring dance virtually, although new and challenging, has allowed us the opportunity to grow as movers and artists. Dancing within our confines, adapting to our environments, and broadening our minds. Our two-weeks of virtual dance for pre-professional, professional, and youth dancers were fulfilling and inspiring, leaving us eager to continue exploring movement with you all! 

We are thrilled to announce our launch of weekly virtual youth AND pre-professional/professional dance classes. Our weekly youth virtual dance classes begin October 12th every Monday 3:00-4:30pm EST, with additional days/times available. Our youth classes include movement from BodyStories’ dance curriculum, incorporating different styles and techniques such as contemporary, jazz, ballet, choreography, improvisation, tap, Central and West African, salsa, swing, and more. We have classes designed for all levels of  juniors ages 4 and up, including 4-5yrs, 6-9yrs, 10-13yrs, and 14-17yrs.

Our weekly pre-professional/professional virtual dance classes start October 14th every Wednesday 12:00-2:00pm EST for technique and Thursday 12:00-2:00pm EST for composition. We may be able to offer some additional days and times. Contact us to submit scheduling requests for alternative class times.  This Fall series will continue to further BodyStories’ Mission of unleashing creativity and empowerment in dancers and developing a deeper understanding of the relationship between art and activism. Dancers will explore and rediscover joy in their movement in a comprehensive class transitioning from a yoga-flow like warm up, into classic modern and contemporary technique, and ending in extensive phrase work. These classes will provide us the opportunity to brush up on our foundations, while challenging our minds and bodies to approach movement from a unique and sometimes unfamiliar lens. Our classes will help build composition and improvisation skills by partnering movement, music, and text, as well as investigate the relationship between dance and social justice. You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity!

Suggested donations for youth & adult classes are $10 or $15 dollars. Please do not hesitate to reach out for any financial assistance or scholarship needed. We are completely open to meeting all participants where they are financially during this time.

*All classes will be held on Zoom*

Register TODAY! education@bodystoriesfellion.org

Summer Intensives

August 5, 2020

Though we all had different ideas of how this summer would go, we now have the chance for new and exciting opportunities that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. For us at BodyStories, one such opportunity is our Virtual Summer Intensives taking place at the end of August! We’ve always wanted to offer our own summer classes, but since we’re usually so busy with performances during the summer, we’ve never been able to find the time to do so. But worry no more! We are thrilled to announce that we will be offering two week-long virtual summer intensives. Details below!

From August 24th-28th, we will be hosting an intensive for pre-professional and professional dancers (ages 17+). The Virtual Dance Experience Summer Intensive continues our mission to unleash creativity and empowerment in dancers, now in the virtual world! Dancers will rediscover joy in movement, break through self-imposed mental barriers, find the humor in the body, and develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between art and activism. Classes will be held from 12-5PM EST each day. Every day will start with a group check-in, to see where we’re at emotionally, physically, and mentally for the day, followed by a yoga flow and dance warm-up. We will have a technique class to refresh our foundations in dance and challenge ourselves with new approaches to movement, and then break at noon for an hour long lunch. We come back for an improvisation and choreography class in the afternoon which is led by Teresa Fellion for movement and writing, Cecly Placenti will join us for some of our writing portions as well, and John Yannelli and Muriel Louveau will join us for musical collaborations. In these classes, we will also discuss the current social climate and reflect on work that needs to be done to reshape and move forward. Participants will journal thoughts and abstract ideas from what they’ve written as inspiration for movement. Together, we will discover the physical language for deeper emotions from these writings, and they will be partnered with music explorations. Each day ends with some breathing and stretching exercises and group reflection to cool down, digesting of the day and looking forward to the next one.

From Aug 31st-Sep 4th, we will be offering the Youth Dance Intensive for mixed level juniors ages 4 and up! Students are comfortably divided into three different classes according to age range, so each group can explore fully and be challenged technically and creatively. Pulling from our Dance Curriculum, we’ll explore different kinds of techniques and styles including contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, tap, ballet, modern, Central and West African, salsa, swing, and musical theater, as well as expose children to movements from our own repertory. All of this will create a foundation for dance from which students can learn how to create their own movements. In addition to dance instruction, students will also have fun using online platforms such as TikTok, iMovie, Zoom, and Triller to create their own dance music videos and films. Classes are from 12-4PM EST. We will start each one with a fun yoga flow and dance warm-up to get kids energized. We’ll then have a technical skills dance class, followed by a lunch break. We come back to learn and create some choreography, and end the day taking what we’ve learned and making a dance music video based off of it!

For both intensives, students can drop-in to take whichever classes they want during each day, with the exception that choreography and improvisation classes require a full week commitment. Rates are $150 for the full week, or $15/drop in class. $75 for one class for a full week. Please do not hesitate to reach out for any financial assistance or scholarship needed. BodyStories is happy to accommodate all financial difficulties during this challenging time. All classes will take place on Zoom. The Zoom link for class will be sent out once registration is confirmed.
To register and for more information contact: education@bodystoriesfellion.org

Black Lives Matter

June 5, 2020

Art of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor by Nikkolas Smith


To stand in solidarity with the protests happening all over the world in response to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the many other Black Americans who have lost their lives to police brutality and hate crimes, we want to use our platform to uplift black voices and support Black Lives Matter. We want to hold ourselves and others accountable for the anti-racist work that must go on beyond this current moment and continue to dismantle all forms of racism that permeate our society-from ignorance to micoagressions to systemic racism, and everything in between. Will you join us in refusing to stay silent and complicit when it comes to racism? Here is a list of resources to advocate for the protection of Black lives.

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

Effective activism starts with knowledge! After all, how can we help without knowing what we’re fighting against? Books and podcasts are some of our favorite ways to learn, and we’ve compiled some of our favorites here. (Many of the bookstores we’ve linked to are black-owned businesses too!)

EFFECTIVE ALLYSHIP

Allyship is often not as straightforward as a person might think. Many nonblack allies, despite intentions, overstep. Speaking over black voices, taking up space, and demanding Black people educate them on racism, are just a few examples. Being an effective ally starts with self-education and continuous accountability for yourself and other allies.

EFFECTIVE PROTESTING

If you are protesting, make sure you are taking necessary precautions. For nonblack people, you are there to support black people. Listen to what they say, do not instigate any violence, do not post photos or videos protestors can be visibly identified in, and use your body as a shield to protect black bodies from the police and counterprotesters. And don’t forget to wear a mask.

There are still many ways to effectively protest, even if you’re not in the streets marching.

DONATING

If you have the means, distributing financial resources is essential! Bail funds (more important than ever with how easily COVID spreads in jails and prisons!), funds for police brutality victims and their families, and supporting black-owned businesses are just some places that need financial support! Here is a list of reputable funds:

This is just a starting point for action. Don’t let it stop here in this current moment. Keep it going, continue educating yourself, stay engaged. This is work that needs to continue evolving and happening throughout all of our lifetimes.

Virtual Performances

May 25, 2020

We miss being able to dance and perform live on the stage, but we are excited and grateful to pursue new performance avenues! We are grateful to take part in several virtual performances. While we are in quarantine, here is where you can see us and keep up with our performances:

Part 2 of our collaboration with the fabulous Muriel Louveau is now available for your viewing on Vimeo. We came together from our homes in Paris, Ohio, Brooklyn, Dubai, Queens, and Chicago to create this virtual showing with material of rehearsal and discussion from our latest process. Follow this link to view Showing and Discussion with Muriel Louveau: https://vimeo.com/412508816 You can also see part one here: https://vimeo.com/412498273

Rehearsal on Zoom
From top left: Nicole Kadar, Teresa Fellion, Xenia Mansour
From bottom left: Kate Bishop, Serena Chang, Muriel Louveau

In addition to this, we will have two upcoming events. The 7MPR-Themed Dance Theater-Virtual Performance will be hosted through Zoom on Friday, June 5th at 8 pm. To join the meeting Click here  and use the meeting ID: 844 5158 7807 and Password: 961252. You can also find the performance on our Facebook Event

The 2020 Virtual NEWGrounds by Moving Current Dance Collective is up and running! Audience members can pair our work reeling → healing with any of the music selections. Click here to explore and have fun! 

Virtual NEWGrounds by Moving Current Dance Collective

We still have hope that we may be able to perform this summer! Our Summer 2020 NYC performances include an evening of BodyStories work and new works by guest choreographers from our BodyStories family Xenia Mansour and Serena Chang, Charly Wenzel, and LeAnn Yannelli. This performance will take place at CPR-Center for Performance Research on July 23 and 24 at 8 pm. Stay tuned for updates!

Navigating Dance in The Virtual World

2020 has presented a unique challenge for BodyStories and dance companies around the world. We work primarily in a three-dimensional art form. Dancers exist in communal spaces, and we encourage audiences to see our performances in person to enjoy the full effect of bodies moving across planes. The COVID-19 crisis left BodyStories with canceled and postponed performances and no physical rehearsal and performance space. These circumstances left us with one option to remain connected through movement: virtual platforms. We wondered how we could continue working in our three-dimensional medium across two-dimensional space.

Three-dimensional movement offers different functional and expressive possibilities than two-dimensional movement. Three-dimensional activity allows for human touch and deep connections as we interact with other physical bodies. In two-dimensional representation, those physical bonds are not possible. Navigating human connection through a virtual reality is truly challenging. This forced us to examine our relationship with space and other moving bodies. We embraced two-dimensional media as a means of exploring process. We have incorporated discussions of our movement processes and our own feelings about connection within isolation to bridge the distance between moving bodies and audience members. BodyStories hopes that these insights into our processes for producing, enhancing, and maintaining work in turn enhances the connections between our dancers and audiences. We look to continue innovating in both the three-dimensional and two-dimensional realms!

Rehearsal on Zoom
From top left: Kevin Keller, Teresa Fellion, Nicole Kadar
From bottom left: Xenia Monsour, Serena Chang, Kate Bishop