Dance is not just movement, it is expression.
Lifelong dancer Teresa Fellion has taken that notion and put her own spin on it by creating BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance.
The New York-based group of eight dancers focuses on creating movement that relays a relatable message to its audience, according to Ms. Fellion. BodyStories is set to make its Long Island debut and will perform three distinct pieces at Ashawagh Hall in Springs on Tuesday, August 28, at 7 p.m.
“I feel like our art is unique because we always start from a different place,” Ms. Fellion said during a telephone interview last Wednesday. “We are called BodyStories not because we tell a linear narrative, it’s not that, it’s just always kind of grounded in something that is relatable to people or would have some kind of impact on them.”
Ms. Fellion grew up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts but started visiting Wainscott in 1997 with her best friend from college, Sarah Coursey. About seven years later, she met her now husband, Orin Kurtz.
“My husband grew up walking distance from Ashawagh Hall and so I’ve spent a lot of time out there but somehow, never thought of performing there,” Ms. Fellion said. “Until now.”
Because the group has never performed on Long Island, let alone the East End, Ms. Fellion said they are extremely excited for the opportunity to do so.
“I’ve been really touched by the involvement and interest of the community,” she said. “People are so helpful and excited by what we’re up to, it has really given me a new appreciation for the area.”
The upcoming performance at Ashawagh Hall will include two world premiere performances, “No One Gets Out of Here Alive” and “Control Dominion,” and one previously staged work, “Fault Line.”
“No One Gets Out of Here Alive” draws from the awkward days of junior high and uses adult commentary through dance to explore the differences between mature and immature behavior.
“One time I was in an adult class and I put my bag on a chair, went to the bathroom, and came back to find that a grown woman had moved my bag,” Ms. Fellion said laughing. “She was like, ‘someone was sitting in my chair’ and I remember thinking, ‘Oh wow, I haven’t experienced this since junior high.’ It took me back to my sixth grade self, and really got me thinking about this piece.”
“Control Dominion” depicts the idea that things are planned for us, that we aren’t necessarily free to make our own choices, according to Ms. Fellion.
“Dancers in a cyborg society struggle between individual will and governing control,” according to information released from BodyStories. “Frenetic, alert movement and intricate phrases in distorted style are programmed rather than organic.”
Lastly, “Fault Line” is a quartet reflecting the perils of human relationships and the ever-constant challenge that is communication, Ms. Fellion explained.
“Sometimes it happens from just one small thing, but this piece really shows how important it is to communicate clearly and how miscommunication is the root of a lot of social or personal problems,” she said.
In addition to the three professional works, improvisational dance pieces and works in progress by dancehampton workshop participants will also be presented.
“I grew up in a ballet company, so I love getting the chance to teach at studios,” Ms. Fellion said. “The students will get a chance to create some of their own material and show off their work. It’ll be a great experience for them.”
Prior to the Ashawagh Hall performance, a master class will be held at DanseArts Conservatory in Bridgehampton on Saturday, August 25, from noon to 2 p.m. A free outdoor dance event will be held in Amagansett Square in Amagansett on Sunday, August 26, from noon to 2 p.m. and master classes and workshops for all ages and levels will be held at dancehampton in East Hampton on Monday, August 27, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance will perform at Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton on Tuesday, August 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. For tickets or more information call (646) 662-5128 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.