BodyStories: Teresa Fellion dancers explore complexities of human relationships and junior high angst with athleticism, grace and physical comedy

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LEWISTON — BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance combines athletic & technical physicality, sculptural shapes and intense partnering with comedic timing and feats of tested balance.

The New York-based troupe, which exhibits  strong influences of modern, ballet, jazz and African dance, will perform from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, at the Franco-American Heritage Center.

BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance will also take the stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Emery Community Arts Center at the University of Maine at Farmington; and at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Frantasia Out Music and Dance Festival at Otis Mill in Livermore Falls.

One of the premieres, “No One Gets Out of Here Alive,” is physical comedy about awkward junior high behavior. The importance of what you wear, body shape, boyfriends, nasty gossip — they are all expressed through provocative tableaux, slow-motion fight scenes, lip-syncing, pantomime, athletic partnering, exaggerated facial expressions and situational comedy.

“No One Gets Out of Here Alive” is loosely based on Fellion’s astute observations as a nerdy, shy outsider in sixth grade. “Through boy-short hair (when it wasn’t fashionable), Coke-bottle glasses, argyle sweater vests and 104-point GPA, I saw that cliques and power dynamics were unhealthy — and hilarious,” she said in a press release.

In the other premiere, “Control Dominion,” dancers in a cyborg society struggle between individual will and governing control. They explore opposing forces of surrender and domination. Dynamic progressions of activity become chock full of manic activity as dancers fling, throw, jerk, jump, stiffen, lift, fall and roll. Electronic soundscape composed by Yannelli includes mechanical sound effects, robotic beats and a driving pulse. 

“Fault Line” is a quartet dealing with the growth, repetition, contrast and  separation of human relationships. With complicated phrase work and partnering, the piece explores the complexities of two co-existing relationships, both isolated and intertwined, and the dissolution of each.

With sensitivity to detail, varying levels of touch and telling focal changes, dancers reveal a range of emotions. Two vocalists and music by Fellion and John Yannelli, featuring cello and piano, help express both harmony and dissonance.

Improvisational dance pieces with live music by Noel Walsh and Christopher Cathode, and works-in-progress showings by Thomas School of Dance, Next Generation Theater and UMF and Frantasia workshops, will also be presented.

Fellion is a choreographer, dancer, theater artist, writer and educator. Her works have been presented at venues including Jacob’s Pillow, University of Florida Dance Department,  Bryant Park SummerStage, ENTPE University (Lyon, France), Booking Dance Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland) and the University of Maine.

She has collaborated with Phish and performed works by Lucinda Childs, Deganit Shemy, Liz Lerman, Twyla Tharp, M’Bewe Escobar, Rhapsody, Sarah Skaggs and Martha Bowers. She has  done comedy improv and theater productions nationally, as well as inventive collaborations with composers and lighting, video, set and costume designers. She has also taught languages, dance, yoga and theater internationally.

Go and do

Performance: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20; Franco-American Heritage Center, 46 Cedar St., Lewiston; free

Dance workshop: 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 20, for Patrick Dempsey Cancer Center; Franco Center

Performance: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22; Emery Community Arts Center, UMF; $5/7

Modern dance workshop: 1-3 pm. Wednesday, Aug. 22; Emery Community Arts Center

Performance: 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23; Frantasia Out Music and Dance Festival, Otis Mill, 1 Mill St., Livermore Falls; $5/7

Modern dance workshop: 1-3 pm. Thursday, Aug. 23; Otis Mill, 1 Mill St. Livermore Falls

For more info: www.bodystoriesfellion.org

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