By Jane D’Angelo, Executive Director of OhioDance
Russell Lepley and Filippo Pelacchi are the owners of Flux + Flow dance studio in Clintonville. They’ll be teaching classes as part of the 2018 OhioDance Festival & Conference, Apr. 27-29, co-hosted and held at The Ohio State University Department of Dance in Sullivant Hall. We checked in with Russell and Filippo about their backgrounds in dance, their move to Columbus and what they’ll be teaching at this year’s festival.
Jane: At what age did you start dancing? And how did your careers in dance evolve?
Russell: I started at age 6 with a tap class and proceeded to fall for dance. I wanted to improve in ballet so I studied at BalletMet from 12-17. I loved the great performance opportunities for children and loved to be on stage. At 17, I moved to Houston to study intensively with other young male dancers and joined Houston Ballet II. At 20, I was offered a job at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. While there, I worked with German choreographer Stephan Thoss and he invited me to join his company, Staatstheater Wiesbaden, in Germany. From Wiesbaden, I moved on to dance with Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich under the direction of Karl Alfred Schreiner.
Filippo: As a child, I was a swimmer, and studied piano and sang. I did not start to dance until 14 years old. I began in a small studio in my home town, Lastra A Signa, a small town outside of Florence. At 16, I went to Centre Chorégraphique National de Roubaix to study dance. I was accepted in the Ballet Junior de Geneve in Switzerland, at 17. After two years, I joined Introdans in the Netherlands. Then I moved to Munich and danced with Gärtnerplatztheater. This is where I met Russell.
Jane: Why did you choose to settle in Columbus?
Russell and Filippo: We came to Columbus in August 2016. We wanted to have children and be near family. Columbus is more accepting of gay men raising children than Italy is. Same sex marriage is not recognized in Italy. We wanted to open a space to create work and teach. Columbus is growing and we wanted to add to the dance scene here. We like the pace of the city, there is a lot to do.
Jane: Tell us more about Flux + Flow.
Russell and Filippo: This is a space for all ages and levels to study dance. It is a creative space for people in the community to come. The community is able rent space to create their own work.
Jane: What is your favorite food? What time of day do you want it? And where is the best place to find it?
Filippo: Chinese food is my favorite. Hong Kong House on Henderson, at night. It is our go to place.
Russell: We are vegan. Ben & Jerry’s dairy free, anytime of day, even in the morning.
Jane: Can you describe the classes you will teach at the OhioDance Festival, and give dancers a glimpse of what they will uncover?
Filippo: My class is “Finding Freedom and Ease in Ballet.” This ballet class will focus on exploring different ways to bring relaxation in movement through coordination.
Russell: I will teach “Transposing Melodies with the Body.” By taking a melody and assigning a corresponding movement to each note, we create a physical composition which visualizes the melody.
Attend Russell’s and Filippo’s classes at the 2018 OhioDance Festival & Conference, Apr. 27-29. The festival and conference is co-hosted and held at The Ohio State University Department of Dance at Sullivant Hall, 1813 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43210. Please call or email us for discounted tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 224-2913. To register for the festival, visit here.