Dynamic Dancehall

Fiyah Productions, LLC premieres its first Dancehall theater production “FIYAH!,” in New York City at the Roulette Theater in Brooklyn, New York on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, 2013.

Jessica Phoenix, founder and lead choreographer who created FIYAH Productions, in partnership with co-choreographers Blacka di Danca and Yaminah Legohn, has managed to blend and embrace Dancehall culture through a dynamic showcase of Caribbean life, life challenges and fun, through reggae dance.

Ms. Phoenix who has been in the dance field for quite some time has always known that she wanted to create and build her voice and vision through art. It was in the early stages of developing, that she landed her first really great choreography job. From there she got the confidence to continue to hone her craft and work hard to be able to receive more amazing opportunities such as her first choreography job through MTV Networks, a commercial/music video for international artist K’Nanna.

Creating FIYAH productions came about naturally as she was already working on building a great network of talented individuals who she could call on when opportunities came her way. In the process of searching for talent who could work under the FIYAH Production name, Phoenix decided for the first production of FIYAH Dancehall Theater that Blacka Di Danca and Yaminah Legohn would be co-choreographers for the show. She noted that the work of her co-choreographers exceeded her expectations. That is how FIYAH Productions first came about, not an agency, not an exclusive dance crew, but an entertainment company that is self-sufficient in producing its own work. As well as, being an entertainment company that can be booked for outside work through choreography, performance and dance instruction.

When it came to selecting dancers for FIYAH, auditions were held at Broadway Dance Center. “I reached out to all the talented dancers that I knew; from street dancers, club dancers, to studio dancers, professionals…it was open to everyone, regardless of background to become a part of FIYAH! Dancehall Theater,” she mentioned. Her choreography is inspired by her experiences in New York, Jamaica, history, daily life, struggles, love and more. “It was all put in to hours, days and nights of me, Yaminah Legohn, and Blacka Di Danca coming up with ideas, concepts, and feelings and translating the emotions into movement for performance.”

As a dancer, producer and choreographer, it has certainly taught her a great deal from each area, from starting as a dancer years and years ago, to continually developing as a choreographer and now a producer. “Sometimes people assume that if you’re great at one thing, then it will translate to the other…..not always. It takes lots of similar experiences; however, it takes a different skill set to go from dancer to choreographer, choreographer to producer. One thing I always want to say is professionalism and positivity in everything you do really goes a long way,” she said.

Phoenix talking about her upcoming plans said: “I have several guests spots teaching my AFRO ISLAND style back at NYC’S Broadway Dance Center plus upcoming workshops and dance classes. I will be doing auditions soon for talent to work with Fiyah Productions’ upcoming work and new additions to the cast. Also, FIYAH! Dancehall Theater is now accepting bookings to bring the show to more theaters in NYC and to bring FIYAH to countries abroad.

More from Around NYC