Inspirational Dancer Rodney Bell Tours Meremere
The love of Rodney Bell’s life is his lightweight titanium wheelchair. It is his partner in dance and an extension of his body, allowing him to weave into his performances the elements of earth, wind, fire and water, as well as other cultural knowledge gifted by his Māori ancestors, Steve Dow writes for The Guardian.
In Bell’s show Meremere, touring Australia this month, he and his chair dance as he tells the story of leaving New Zealand, becoming a principal performer with a dance company in the US, and then falling into homelessness for three years, Dow writes.
New Zealand performances of Meremere have been received as inspirational and profound.
“Depending on where they are in life, there’s a lot of people that come up afterward and tell me they cried, then tell me their story,” Bell, 51, says. “It opens up the opportunity for people to express their own story to me, so there’s a lot of deep listening for me, too.”
Original article by Steve Dow, The Guardian, August 11, 2022.
Photo by Fiona Goodall.