Top Honours for Bell
New Zealand dancer Rodney Bell earned an ‘Izzie’ at the 23rd Isadora Duncan Dance Awards in San Francisco last week, for his part in the Axis Dance Company’s ensemble performance ‘To Color Me Different’. Touted as “one of the most riveting Bay Area dances of 2008” by the San Francisco Chronicle, ‘To Color Me Different’ “is not a duet about being disabled [Bell’s lower body is paralysed]; it’s about the perils of attraction and trust”. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Rachel Howard had this to say about the ensemble: “Axis Dance Company members Sonsheree Giles and Rodney Bell toss themselves into a torrent of volatile intimacy. Giles flips herself over Bell’s shoulders and across the stage; Bell throws the wheelchair, tightly lashed to his immobile legs, to the floor and rolls upright again, in full command of his essentially three-limbed physicality.” Bell wasparalysed from the mid-chest down after a motorcycle accident in 1990. He has been a member of Axis since 2007 and also represented New Zealand for 10 years playing wheelchair basketball.