Yogadance Gallery

Student, solo and group works choreographed by Theresa Elliott

  1. Yoga Line Dance with Theresa Elliott and Nico Tower

    Taught at St Marks Cathedral as part of Yoga for Hope, July 2015 Somehow the idea of creating a Yoga Line Dance dropped into my head, and when Yoga for Hope asked me to perform "Sargasso Sea", they also indicated they were looking for a segue from the end of the program and savasana, into a Meet & Great. It seemed a logical place for a line dance to me, so I created this simple dance and used my 1990's aerobic instructor skills to teach the sequence. It was a ball, and the participants were like delighted children who couldn't wait to see what came next.

    Live music by Nico Tower.

  2. Taj Yogadance: Dance Your Asana

    I began performing Yogadance in the early 90's. Yoga was not yet main stream and people were confused what they were seeing. Was this gymnastics? Maintaining Yogadance classes at that time was difficult as there wasn't enough of a base to support ongoing classes. However, I continued to work on my own and not surprisingly created mostly solos. I knew posture work intimately, had extensive movement training, and I always showed up for rehearsal.

    More than 20 years later, I was asked to teach Yogadance at last year's Northwest Yoga Conference. Turns out it was the most often requested workshop. Working with the students in the conference I realized yoga had become so ubiquitous that postures were now a commonly understood framework, and when I said "Trikonasana", everyone knew what I meant. This freed me to focus on what what I loved: on how to move (vinyasa), and on how to listen and respond to music (dance).

    From that experience, the "Yogadance Video Project" was born. I created a two day workshop with the intent of documenting the process of combining yoga asana with movement and music, and filming a full scale production of a group piece. The participants had a broad range of yoga and dance experience, and the result of the workshop is this video, "Taj Yogadance: Dance Your Asana."

    My undying thanks to my producer Peter Howland and his very talented crew (Tom Sturge, Hollywood lights, Joe Linton) who "got" what I wanted and made it happen. And to the people who signed up for the workshop, for among other things, they did six and a half million "bunny hops". I have no doubt they were very sore the next day, but they did me proud: April Kieburtz, Autumn Needles, Binka Popov, Carol Sanders, Cheryl Davis, Elfie Luther, Heidi Krotzer, Julia Dean, Margaret Ann Gregerson, Melina Stasuik , Michelle Befus, Rich Williams, Robin Werner, Sheryl Woolover.

  3. The Dance of Yoga

    Segments from a yoga dance series taught by Theresa Elliott, at Taj Yoga, Seattle, WA. Copyright 2009. Many thanks to all who participated! Music by Bjork: Amphibian, Film Mix and MC Hammer: Can't touch This.

  4. Crown Hill Artsfestival

    Every year the building I teach in has an arts festival and I always put together a show. In 2009 we were still using the Taj as a "stage", which I enjoyed as performances were quite informal and intimate. This is a favorite show as there is quite a juxtaposition between earlier works that are clearly yoga based, and the final piece, which shows I have morphed.

    Although three of the works were choreographed years before, the pieces still grow and change as I set them on different "bodies" and as I see ways to improve on the original choreography with altering the original intention.

    April Kieburtz demonstrates the first yogadance I ever created, known as "The Pink Floyd piece", and by today's knowledge and exposure to yoga, it is not unusual. However, in 1991, the general population had no idea what they were seeing. April performs this piece beautifully, despite having broken her arm just two weeks before.

    The next work is based on the Sun Salutation, performed by Dylan Noebels, and like the earlier work, for years I simply called it the "Mickey Hart piece". Since this recording, Dylan has begun to subtly and organically change the piece as he makes it his own, and I couldn't be prouder of him as he matures with this work.

    Laura DeFreitas performs "Eventide". This pieces marks the beginning for me in which pieces became more about characters. You can compare the subtle differences I made in choreography by looking at the original "Eventide" which is posted here on Vimeo under my name.

    The final piece, "Mowgl Walking: the Lure of the Quadruped", is my first kid's piece, and by now, I am clearly out the framework of yoga as an organizational structure, and way into the personality of the character.

  5. Pommel Horse, Dylan

    It is always a joy to pass a solo on, and Pommel Horse and Dylan Noebels were a perfect match. Here he performs at the Crown Hill Arts Festival in 2011, accompanied by my drum teacher, Bill Mathews.

  6. Yogadance Trio, 1994

    I am posting this yogadance trio as a historical reference. It is a far, far cry from what I am doing today. However, I had to start someplace, and 20 years ago, this was way outside the yoga box. After viewing, please watch "Taj Yogadance: Dance Your Asana", also posted here on Vimeo, and join me in a chuckle and thankfulness in knowing, things change.

    About the video “Stillness in Motion: Yoga Vinyasa”
    In 1994 I wrote and produced a video on yogadance called "Stillness in Motion: Yoga Vinyasa". It was an instructional video that opened with a demonstration (see "Stillness in Motion", posted here on vimeo). The video then progressed through a series of standing pose sequences and simple vinyasa with the intention of teaching practitioners how to move. Finally, the vinyasa are stylized and set to music (by Forrest Kinney) to create a dance, which is the trio presented here.