27 July 2014

Beautiful People: Tessa Allen

(Tessa Allen wears a dress by ReciclaGEM, scarf by J. White and her own boots.). 
Photo by Austin Phelps.

Tessa Allen is a performance artist and dancer, who has explored various themes of story telling, conventions of beauty and identity formation in her work. Originally from California, she pursued dance as a choreographer and dancer of the Willamette Dance Company, and further expanded her  passion for interdisciplinary studies through her Masters of Performance Studies degree from NYU Tisch. She is a talented performer, and illustrator, who uses many media, whether ink or her own body, to tell stories. At the time of the shoot, Tessa was recovering from an injury. With her body as her instrument of beautiful story telling, she modeled the beauty of the body in all of its stages of healing.

I enjoyed an opportunity to represent the beauty of a body in recovery!

 (Photo Credit: Charlotte Martin)

Current Projects
Tessa is a frequent collaborator with Krystalla, and together, these two Beautiful People make magic through their performance art troupe, PAKT. Included in their collaborations are performance projects, Money and Eating, videos that narrate in a light-hearted and yet sardonic voice the power dynamics embedded within the quotidian things we often take for granted.


Tessa's performance project, Unless These Bones Are Shaken, explored the idea of story telling so seminal to Tessa's work and the ways the body, movement and memory can narrate nationality. Whether exploring the Northwest of the United States or her Finnish ancestry, the stories of place and the cultures associated with such places truly distinguish Tessa's artistic voice. 

Tessa's Relationship to Brazil 

When I was in 7th grade we had an exchange student from Brazil live with us for 6 months. She became another older sister to me and taught me capoeira and samba in our living room. She introduced me to the vibrant warmth of Brazilian culture, and since I have always been struck by the sense of passion for celebration and the embrace of vivacity that I especially associate with Brazilian music. 

Tessa is a Beautiful Person to watch. 

Thank you, Tessa, for your beauty, artistry, talent and grace! You make our world better,


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