Local Teen Set to Dance at the Philly Fringe

Share Article

Nicole DeHelian, a 15-year-old from East Greenville, PA, prepares to dance at Philly Fringe on Labor Day weekend.

One seldom crosses paths with a group of teenagers freely creating and expressing themselves through dance. But this is the norm for Music & Motion, fourteen empowered and talented dancers, all from diverse and multi-talented backgrounds, who have come together to create a bit of magic.

Music & Motion, an all female dance company and ranging from ages 14-18, have been rehearsing all summer and creating a new dance work, "Elements." The group's performances feature an eclectic repertoire of work, all of which have been developed and choreographed by the entire cast and led by artistic director Steven Weisz.

Amongst that cast is Nicole DeHelian, a 15-year-old from East Greenville, PA. This is Nicole’s first season with the company, and she comes with an extensive background. Having danced for the past 12 years, she currently is a student at Broadway Dance Academy with emphasis in ballet, pointe, jazz and lyrical. Nicole is also a freshman at Lehigh Valley High School For The Performing Arts.

She is quick to tell you how Music & Motion has drawn her to broaden her dance horizons even more so, and how tightly knit the group has become.

"I've only been with the dance company about five months but I already feel like I've been here forever. It’s great having made such close friendships in a short time with other teens who share in the love of dance as well," Nicole stated.

When asked how juggling a busy dance schedule works into the more typical laid-back summer vacation, Nicole stated, “It’s definitely tough. I rarely get to hang out with my friends during summer vacation.” Yet she goes on to excitedly to talk of the groups’ upcoming performances, and especially the Philly Fringe.

The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe bring to Philadelphia sixteen days of performing arts events each year beginning on the Labor Day holiday weekend. Featured are cutting-edge, boundary-breaking performances, created by some of the most renowned contemporary artists from our region and around the world.

"I'm so excited because the Fringe Festival is a huge opportunity to be seen by a lot of people," she said. "As far as I know we’re the only teen dance group performing at Fringe. That is pretty awesome!"

This group of spirited dancers will show off their talent as they ready themselves for the Philly Fringe. This is the second year the company will be performing, having debuted "Illuminescence" at last year’s Fringe, a well-received performance.

The dancers' rehearsal consists of hours upon hours of working together, many times in the oppressive summer heat. The girls are dedicated and extremely busy, many of who not only dance, but also wear the typical "hats" that most teenagers do. Yet were you to sneak a peak at the tail end of an exhausting five hour dance rehearsal, you’d see a group caught up in wonderful creativity, with impressive dance pieces at hand.

"Elements" is described as a modern dance work that explores the four elements of antiquity - earth, water, air and fire. A dazzling abstract piece, "Elements" features striking choreography in a kaleidoscope of movement and creativity drawn from these ancient elements. Each element is portrayed with a mixture of dance styles ranging from classical ballet to modern, lyrical, hip-hop, gymnastics and acrobatic dance.

"This dance work consists of 3-4 dances for each of our elements," explained Nicole in detail. "We try to express all of these to our audience through movements, bodies, and emotions. For fire, we have intense, dramatic dances. For the air pieces we have light and airy feeling dances," she said.

The entire cast is actively involved in choreography and artistic input, an opportunity that many dancers do not have. Music & Motion differs from most dance companies in giving this freedom to express, create and ultimately be part of the outcome of a finished dance piece.

Nicole added, "We get to choreograph our own dances. There isn’t a particular person showing us steps or telling us exactly how to do them. We basically decide as a group, and everyone has a say in the outcome. It’s great to be a part of this group effort and learning how each person contributes something special."

You can see Nicole and the entire cast at the premiere of Music & Motion’s "Elements" on Friday, September 2nd and Saturday, September 3rd. Both performances are at 8PM at the National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance. For tickets or to learn more about Music & Motion Dance Productions and their upcoming performances, go to http://www.music-and-motion.com

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author