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Dance Mogul: Can you take us behind the scenes of these projects? What is the inspiration and what is the process of manifesting these projects?

Teresa Fellion: The Mantises Are Flipping (P.S. I’ll have whatever they’re having) has been a long-term project created in three separate worlds. The inspiration to start this project originally came from movement ideas and social constructs. I investigated in creating my MFA Thesis Solo at Sarah Lawrence College, such as polyrhythmic movement, contrast, angular and curved distortion and “sanity/ insanity”. Our company has mined and crafted these concepts and developed work that is heavily focused on full-bodied physicality, texture and detail.

 

Dance Mogul: What can the audience expect to walk away with?

Teresa Fellion: We have designed this piece to bring audiences along on an unexpected journey of immersive dance theatre, where they will experience four worlds that are completely distinct, yet threaded together purposefully; seamless and soft, awkward and questioning through a bit of humor, distorted and predatory and calming. The audience can expect to be led fully and deeply through these worlds, to a point where they can fully digest it and connect to the work personally.  In a previous stage of this work, an audience member shared, “I felt like being caught writing my secrets in my diary and being forced to read them out loud in front of the public. It was supremely engaging.”

 

Dance Mogul: How do the dancers prepare for a performance such as this as opposed to other projects?

Teresa Fellion: For this performance we have been training heavily in full-bodied phrases that have a lot of asymmetry and contrast in them. There are a lot of direction shifts, changes of tempo, and complex partnering. At times it feels like a puzzle of a dance in the sections where the movements purposefully shift gears abruptly. The dancers have to approach the movements with precise skill in order to connect them and magnify their qualities. In this sense, it takes a lot of physical and mental preparation to fully embody the evolving physical and emotional states of the dance.

 

Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you?

Teresa Fellion: This project would not be where it is today without the genius of the dancers involved: Iman Barnes, Corey Bliss, Zachary Bergfelt, Alex Jenkins, Monica Mordaunt and Audrey Rachelle Stanley, as well as additional artists involved in earlier stages. I would like to deeply thank our composers Ryan Edwards and John Yannelli for diving into this with an avid sense of experimentation plus such vivid compositional and musical prowess. Our costume designer, Ljupka Arsovska, has been inventive and provocative in her design. We are so grateful to Concord Academy’s Choreographic Fellowship Program, ITE: Inception to Exhibition, Space Grants at Triskelion Arts and Mark Morris Dance Center through the Mellon Foundation, CPR-Center for Performance Research and Danspace Project Dance: Access Series. We have been able to bring this work to its full potential through the gracious gifts and programming of these organizations.

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BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance
presents
The Mantises Are Flipping
(P.S. I’ll have whatever they’re having)
World Three
at Danspace Project
May 21-23, 2015

 

BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance presents The Mantises Are Flipping (P.S. I’ll have whatever they’re having), World Three as part of the DANCE: Access series* at Danspace Project from May 21-23, 2015 at St. Marks Church, 131 East 10th Street, NYC. Tickets will be available beginning March 2015.  For more information, please visit http://bodystoriesfellion.org.

 

Derived from Teresa Fellion’s Master of Fine Arts thesis solo at Sarah Lawrence College, Mantises utilizes contrasting movement qualities, while creating polyrhythmic movement where the upper and lower body perform separate dynamics and rhythms. With Fellion’s direction, the company dancers are investigating themes including: the nature of opposites, “sanity versus insanity”, the effects of sound on the body both internally and externally, and the changing psychological states of several individuals in a thread of isolation. These have informed their ever-changing imaginative development process to cultivate new discoveries.
 
The Mantises Are Flipping (P.S. I’ll have whatever they’re having) is a long-term contemporary dance project which has evolved during three separate, detailed stages of fresh development, exploring duality that creates a voyeuristic point of observation into idiosyncratic worlds and relationships among individuals,” said Teresa Fellion, Artistic Director of BodyStores: Teresa Fellion Dance.  “World One premiered at ICA Boston and CPR-Center for Performance Research in 2013, exposing our sound and movement vocabularies, created to contain opposing qualities simultaneously. World Two premiered at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center and Bryant Park Summerstage in 2014, offering layers of cohesion to four distinct, rich environments. Through further movement and sound development, as well as extended spatial and interactive design research, in May 2015 we will premiere a new work, Mantis (World 3), which will give the audience an immersive experience in the imaginative, playful, yet ‘unfortunately adult’ world of Mantises Are Flipping.”
 
Mantises will feature dancers Iman Barnes, Zach Bergfelt, Corey Bliss, Alex Jenkins, Andrew Magazine, Monica Mordaunt, and Audrey Rachelle Stanley; with costumes by Ljupka Arsovska; and live music and original composition by Ryan Edwards and John Yannelli.

 

“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.”
Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

 

*DANCE: Access is a self-produced series administered by Danspace Project that serves independent choreographers and dance companies.
 
BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance is a contemporary dance company that strives to capture and communicate universal human encounters through dynamic, purposeful movement. We are a multifaceted, highly physical company laced with provocative, emotional, political and humorous edges. Our mission is to examine depths of society in their darkest and brightest moments and to inspire audiences to physically sense emotional and psychological aspects of the human condition on stage. Live music is an important factor in many of our works. We also consistently work via in-depth collaborations in lighting, costume, video and set design. In addition to creating and performing innovative works, our company is committed to reaching diverse populations through outreach and education and maintaining a stable business model to sustain our work. Our company values international exchange; we collectively speak nine languages and research, perform, and collaborate with artists from five continents.  Shown works and taught at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jacob’s Pillow, ENTPE University (France), NYU, UME, UFL, Pace, SLC, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Bryant Park Summer Stage, Dixon Place, 92nd St. Y, 4 Times Square, Franco-American Cultural Centre, BDF Edinburgh, Ailey School, and with Phish.
 
More information at www.bodystoriesfellion.org.

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Dance Mogul
Dance Mogul

Dance Mogul Magazine seeks to inspire our readers with our articles and real-world experience.

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