In MÖNSTER OUTSIDE, Sidra Bell  joined forces with innovative Swedish composer Per Störby and his critically acclaimed chamber ensemble New Tide Orquesta, and dynamic design team Amith Chandrashaker & Amy Rubin, to develop a flexibly voyeuristic discourse and commentary about the nature of outliers and constructed self-identity in contemporary society. This fine art piece and its shattered landscape marries dance theater, chamber music, projection mapping, vocal scoring, and scenic and lighting design.  It dislocates aspects of human joy and despair via the experience of the “outsider".  furiously dancing question marks, lost boys & girls, anti-climactic humans... 1000 tomorrows

Runtime- 70 minutes

World Premiere- 2017, Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans)

Live Music by New Tide Orquesta (Sweden)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

Set Design by Amy Rubin

Dramaturge: Dacia Washington 

Costumes: Caitlin Taylor

“fascinating, captivating, genre-busting, existential fantasy world…”- Best of New Orleans

“innovative”- TimeOut New York

Atmospheric and spectacular, ReVUE is an explosion of sexuality, gender politics, and darkly fantastical themes—pushing societal boundaries and eluding traditional expectations of dance. all that glitters...

Runtime- 60 minutes

World Premiere- 2010, Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh, PA)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

 

“2010 Best in Dance”

“It was a ReVUE unlike any other, a blend of vaudeville, Fellini, and Cirque du Soleil. Ms. Bell proved that she had her finger on the future of dance where ballet and hip-hop coexist on the same plane.” - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

PRELUDE | IDENTITY through a window...with bated breath...

Runtime- 63 minutes

World Premiere- 2019, GK Arts Center  (Brooklyn, NY)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

Videography & 3D Rendering by Harrison Goodbinder

Dramturgy & Rehearsal Direction by Jonathan Campbell

Costume Design Mini Collection "A Global Dust Storm in Mars" by NANNERWAVE (South Korea)

Featured in Berlin's KALTBLUT Magazine August 2019

Germany's leading indie magazine for Art, Fashion, Music. Made in Berlin.

 

"I had an unexpectedly visceral reaction when the six dancers began taking their bows at the conclusion of the performance. I found myself so entrenched in the world Bell created that it took a couple of minutes to pull myself back out of it. ⁠ There was not a single moment, costume, prop or lighting element that went to waste. Whether it was a subtle elevated walk on the balls of the feet, a projected live-video feed, or contacts in the performers eyes, everything had a purpose and fed into the larger atmosphere of the work. This atmosphere was charged with a heightened urgency and drama that felt equal to the crisis of identity so many of us and our communities are facing today.  The multiple ways in which Bell and the dancers wrestled with and perceived the idea of identity were rich and vast. A moving and noise-making apparatus attached to dancer Misa Kinno Lucyshyn spoke to a complex and voyeuristic relationship with our identities and technology. The poignant repetition of the sung words 'my beloved' and different parts of the body while dancers intertwined projected a sense of identity woven with intimacy and community, while the jarring violence in other sections of the choreography referenced a powerful sense of self-doubt and indignation. ⁠The way in which Bell presented this perplexing material revealed itself as a metaphor for how we approach and deconstruct identity. I left the theatre feeling like I had more compassion for the diversity of our fellow human beings, grappling with the idea that this beautiful diversity is what makes our identities so hard to pin down." - DIYDancer Magazine

STELLA is a series of dramatically theatrical scenes and manifestos which explore ideas of the self, private space, consent, voyeurism, hero workship, and participation: dark and probing, fantastical and romantic, the work demands both physical power and tender expressiveness from Bell’s crack ensemble of fearless and technically honed dancers. cult of me...

Runtime- 40 minutes

World Premiere- 2012, Baruch Performing Arts Center (NYC)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

Costumes: Erin Schultz

 

"In STELLA, fantasy morphs into the grotesque and the grostesque breeds fantasy. The androgynous dancers spew a highly kinetic and gestural movement language, with their capable bodies and overtly cirque-like prowess, at warp speed to a beat I hoped the DJ wouldn’t stop. The jaw-dropping solos and duets reminiscent of the famous ‘walks’ at a vogue ball (aka Paris is Burning), stunning ballet technique, the ecstasy of all-night clubbing felt through the 4th wall, and the dread of the inevitable morning or end to the show came together in a seemingly unreal and jam-packed hour of dance." -DIY Dancer

 

"The ensemble dances in a relatively shallow space across the Met Breuer gallery and gets up close to front-row folks in ways that heighten the persistent air of tension, risk and thrill. There are the crisp rhythms of street dance, the stark, deep-queer glamour of a fashion catwalk, the enigmatic drama that just does not quit. Bell calls upon a seemingly limitless supply of intricate movement ideas and shows no hesitation to share this largesse. And, from start to finish, her disciplined crew is ON IT. Video closeups amplify the unfiltered anxiety with performers staring into the camera and repeatedly tugging or clawing at their own bare flesh for reasons that remain mysterious. As for STELLA, she simply blasts herself into The Met Breuer and makes her formidable presence felt." - InfiniteBody by writer Eva Yaa Asantewaa 

F R I C T I O N has no echo, tries to hard and is detached from the action. A personal navigation of loneliness, causality,  aimlessness, gratification, social codes, filters, disguises, vanities, (un)safe spaces, and contemporary narcissism. A study of deterioration highlighted by a  live music collaboration with electronic dynamo KRONODIGGER who plays onstage.

every dog deserves a fight... let it burn (friction is a fiction)... let them be wild

Runtime- 58 minutes

World Premiere- 2018, New York Live Arts (NYC)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

Costumes: Jeni O'Malley

 

"Bell's worlds are singular--even when colliding with the worlds of Pina Bausch, fashion and Harlem's ballrooms, as they do here. They fold and contort as much as Sebastian Abarbanell's (dancer) uncanny body. They are as ridiculously opulent as an extravagant hotel. It's hard not to cheer Bell on when you see all these things laid out just right and danced to perfection by this crew. You don't get dancers more weirdly excellent--and let me underscore, here, both *weird* and *excellent*--than Bell's troupe. That's not to say that the audacity and stylishness of Bell's entire interdisciplinary aesthetic isn't brilliant and impressive and even hypnotically seductive. It is." - InfiniteBody by writer Eva Yaa Asantewaa

"The experimental nature of these pieces can mask the technical excellence of every performer. Bell has deliberately choreographed bits that are ugly, inelegant, clumsy – call it what you will, these moments are the counterpoint to the expected grace and perfection sought in mainstream dance. So let me say again, these dancers’ technique is second to none." - Stage Biz

Unidentifiable; Bodies is a beating heart and is the third in a trilogy of works, including Nudity and .heterogamy, that  deal with identity, intimacy, and existence. It amplifies Bell's high voltage movement language and navigates terrain that is fragile, preternatural, and ephemeral. Bell mirrors and physically orchestrates universal systems like stars colliding and matter exploding to reproduce emergent forms in the body, the performers moving as supernovae. The work moves past cultural signifiers and arbitrary assignments to reclaim the body's essentialism, universality, and a sense of otherness. It looks at the theater of the body, phenomenon, and its mysterious syndromes. Bell explores relativity and duration to create a superreal landscape of images that offer multiple viewing experiences. These are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. emergent bodies burning brightly...

Runtime- 90 minutes

World Premiere- 2015, Baruch Performing Arts Center (New York, NY)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

Costumes: Gilbert Small & Caitlin Taylor

Creative Direction: David Flores Productions

 

"The effect is both androgynous and sexual, anonymous and exposing, which reflects a movement vocabulary that is simultaneously beastly and made mechanical through precision and repetition, executed with an energy that almost seems inhuman in its sustained exertion. The effort is relentless, and they do it with conviction and prowess.”- Irene Hsiao of SF Weekly

 

 

The slick, stark tableaux of POOL and its surrealist nightscape is a dystopia of grotesquerie, anime, and decadence. Bell's distinctive and hyperkinetic movement creates and deconstructs an imagined Eden and examines the suspension between Heaven and Hell, a descent into darkness. Vincent Vigilante creates the palette for this illusory, neon, and phantasmic world, carving out sharply-delineated zones and ovular pockets of space, evocative of mirrors or exits. It develops with radically different temperatures and through the principal male couple we observe breathing, sinking, floating, inhaling, gasping and ultimately surrendering. I will drink you in, drown in every drop, burn while you fiddle, dancing on my heart...

Runtime- 40 minutes

World Premiere- 2011, Dance Theater Workshop (New York, NY)

Lighting Design by Vincent Vigilante

Costumes: Alexandra Johnson

 

"putrid, beautiful, freakish" -Lisa Jo Sagolla, Backstage

"Sidra Bell introduces us to uncanny alternative realities, often asking more questions than giving answers. Her fearless performers and collaborators, fully committed to the complex movement and theatrics, stunningly transport us to her worlds." -The Dance Enthusiast

 

 

L O S T L A N G U A G E is a kind of retelling of Old Mother Hubbard, a playpen, and a live collaboration with electronic sound artist and Juilliard trained clarinetist Alexey Gorokholinsky. This evening length abstraction archives the stories, memories, and histories embedded in the bodies of the performers and physicalizes that stored information to illustrate a mysterious and ambiguous landscape of images. A rumination that looks at restoring buried, intuitive body language, mothering, crawling again, and at relearning our inner baby. our age of innocence...

Runtime- 85 minutes

World Premiere- 2016, Baruch Performing Arts Center (New York, NY)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

Costumes: Caitlin Taylor

 

"inventively quirky and sensuously muscular" - The Boston Globe

 "committed, ugly repetitive movements" - Backstage

 

garment is a playful jaunt that attempts to rescue the individual by constructing a world that navigates popular zeitgeists, tropes, and cultural rituals. Conceived through materials the work exercises small performance ceremonies and allows the performers to speak through filters to observe identity, appropriation, transfiguration, nonsense, influence, authorship, and reformation. Teacher teach me. you'll be remembered...###

Runtime- 60 minutes

World Premiere- 2014, Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh, PA)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

 

"Named #1 in Contemporary Dance in 2014" 

"The New York choreographer wowed the audience in a thought-provoking piece focused on identity. Her company members were some of the most unique and talented artists I had ever seen, and her choreography exploded with creativity." - Pittsburgh Examiner

"But then there's garment, which has already won praise, and rightly so. The team really worked the hell out of this one, in both sight and sound. There's Bell, the auteur, Amith Chandrashaker an adept of space and atmosphere, and costume designer Caitlin Taylor. Costuming looms large in Bell's universe but so much more here where it suggests a kind of kinky-glamorous masking of the self; an angry, frustrating search for a less-fraught, more ordinary self; and--with Sebastian Abarbanell's expansive, ritualistic solo--finally a taste of freedom."  - InfiniteBody by writer Eva Yaa Asantewaa 

Eva Yaa Asantewaa's  InfiniteBody Honor Roll for 2018 (New Production)

 

 

Nudity is a classroom of codes that evinces a love affair with formalism, utility, focus, rigor, and regimen. In this evening length work one's imagination is turned upside down in an unabashed tribute to robust, majestic, austere, regimen, and voracious material. The fastidious and spartan purgatory puts five bodies on display, brazenly promoting their anatomy, and thereby revealing their insides. Form begets deep sensations that resonate and vibrate for the spectator. show me the code to your padlock, your secret is safe with me...

Runtime- 40 minutes

World Premiere- 2012, ODC Theater (San Francisco, CA)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

 

"Notable Performances of 2012- The Year in Review" 

"Perhaps the most profound gift that Tanz Farm has offered to the Atlanta community, so far, has been to present Sidra Bell Dance New York. Bell’s dancers brought a concentration of immediacy and edge to her new work, Nudity. The quintet created a personal yet formally conceived world where imperfections help define human beauty" - ArtsATL

.heterogamy (Nudity's sister) is an unsexy, pastoral, aimless meditation. a humorless study on disparate minds in limbo, fractured souls, the art of actualizing, and behavior reproduced. these are extraordinary people doing ordinary things. i exist...

Runtime- 26 minutes

World Premiere- 2013, Dance Place (Washington, DC)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

 

"Bell's company has completely mastered an aloof tenor. The hip rolls, paranoid skittering and balletic leg extensions in .heterogamy were executed with an apathetic gaze that was at once creepy and comical. - Washington Post

 

HOMME. is a bold full-length work in two chapters for all men and Bell's most romantic compilation to date. Featuring six male virtuosos from around the world, HOMME. is a lyric ode filled with humor, carnality, melancholy, fantasy, extravagance, nostalgia, and anti-romance. The work looks at male portraiture through the Bell's lens and challenges the pseudo-masculine ideal. a man in full bloom...

Runtime-60 minutes

World Premiere- 2011, Baruch Performing Arts Center (New York, NY)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

 

"Bell's dance-theater works are intensely physical, concentrated and mysterious- yet they reveal the inner aspects of the performers with startling clarity"- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Grief Point. is a solo that looks at the psychology of an artist's mind and the anxiety that arises from the creative process. The soloist shifts between contemplations, each moment separated by an eclipse of light. These eclipses enhance the feeling that they are excavating the deepest aspects of their mind in a stream of consciousness. They question and doubt their ability to create and thereby communicate, which leaves them feeling empty and isolated. I should only make things I understand. I should only make things I know how to construct, however imperfect...I think the world does not like me grim. It likes me melancholic, but not miserable...

Runtime- 8 minutes

World Premiere- 2011, Solo Tanz Theatre Festival (Stuttgart, Germany)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

 

1st Preis/Prize Choreographie/Choreography & Tanz/Dancer (Moo Kim) at the International Solo Tanz Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Germany (2011)

 

A hybrid piece, House Unrest creates place and time through the intersection of radical, eclectic bodies in an unconventional space. The vibrancy of the work lives in the cult of personalities colliding together in the eccentric Gershwin Hotel in New York City's flatiron district. This explosion of sound, light, fashion, and color leaves an indelible imprint on the participating voyeur. It was a large room. full of people. all kinds. and they had all arrived at the same buidling at more or less the same time. and they were all free. and they were all asking themselves the question: what is behind that curtain...

Runtime- 30 minutes

World Premiere- 2009, The Gershwin Hotel (New York, NY)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Sidra Bell & Gregory Dolbashian

 

"Bell has a lot working in her favor: powerful, daredevil dancers and an almost garish imagination capable of dreaming up surreal scenarios... a slick, in-your-face intensity dominates her onstage worlds." - New York Times

 

n e w d e m o n a short exercise (facilitated)

World Premiere-2014, Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh, PA) and Tanz Farm (Atlanta, GA)

Runtime- 12 minutes

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

 

"extraordinary physical language"- Atlanta INtown Paper

K I N G D O M is a casual and informal exposition, a prelude to a même that converses with politics, disposability, illiteracy, misinformation, western modes of garishness and antiquation in a material world. garment was made possible by K I N G D O M. king of king of king of kings...

Runtime- 50 minutes

World Premiere- 2014, Tanz Farm at The Goat Farm Arts Center (Atlanta, GA)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

 

"Bell's company is regularly in demand throughout the world, and critics are more and more frequently identifying her as one of the most intriguing and significant choreographic voices of her generation. - Creative Loafing Atlanta

 

BEAUTIFUL BEAST, an anthemic full length, looks at aspects of beauty, extravagant and violent, as well as the masculine gaze. It examines the framing of the female form and the brutality of its imaging in contemporary culture. The fantastical work takes us through a dreamscape of personas that are glamorous, destroyed, endangered, grotesque, and heroic. Words were the driving force from which the performers' fantasies departed. We are led into a world of jockeys, ring leaders, cigarette ads, sad clowns, detached omniscient symbols, conjoined twins and more. The landscape is a house of mirrors, horrors and cards falling down. manhood's bliss...

Runtime- 65 minutes

World Premiere- 2010, The Duo Theatre (New York, NY)

Lighting by Burke Wilmore

Creative Direction- Dakota Scott & Friends

 

"Bell has an approach to the body; a deconstructor, hyperarticulator that makes her dancers look inhuman like broken marionettes or robots on the fritz...the grotesquerie suggests decadence, disease, a horror show..."- The New Yorker

 

Chimeras is an early portal that deconstructs Bell's subconscious and vivid dream space.  Using found space and objects at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Bell and company use every wall and surface to imagine a world of spatial, dimensional, and emotional fragmentation.

Our waking hours form the text of our lives, our dreams, the commentary...

Runtime- 35 minutes

World Premiere-2008, Stella Adler Studio of Acting (New York, NY)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Sidra Bell

 

"Bell represents total experimentation. She’s near controversial. She has a very strange gestural world and is not apologetic about it."- Choreographer/Curator Lauri Stallings in ArtsATL

i n s i d e an ephemera

2015, The Joyce Theater (New York City)

Runtime- 5 minutes

 

"Bell pairs strong, aesthetically dramatic visuals with like-minded movement. The information is abstracted and scrambled to create an unfamiliar world more akin to dreams than memories. "- The New York Times

suite 6 epochs

2017, Tanzfabrik (Berlin, Germany)

Runtime- 12 minutes

"ferocious physicality"- San Francisco Guardian

 

Conductivity is a deeply introspective solo that looks at the mirrors of a man's mind and the reflectiveness and disquieting that occurs when one no longer recognize themselves. It is a piece about recognition and tranformation. The original text by actor/writer illuminates the journey that the soloist and collaborator Shamel Pitts takes in the exhaustive and trancendental work. You’ve done something, to your face, your hair, your hands... Something’s happened to your wrists. How lovely How glorious. How sudden. How unlike you . . .

Runtime- 12 minutes

World Premiere- 2009, Baryshnikov Arts Center (NYC)

Production, Lighting, & Décor by Amith Chandrashaker

Text & Dramaturgy by Robbie Sublett

 

2nd Preis/Prize Tanz/Dancer (Shamel Pitts) at the International Solo Tanz Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Germany (2009)

 

Cinematography by PopovMedia by Alex Popov with Alexey Gorokholinsky, Nan Melville, & Breeanah Tre'chelle Breeden, Joshua Bee Alafia, Chris Randle, Sarah Paulson, MovingAngel, Ricardo Iamuuri, Garrett Parker

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