Bita Bell is an international multimedia artist-activist working in contemporary dance, music, and film who recently relocated from New York City to Vienna. Born in Iran and educated in prestigious international art academies in Hong Kong and the United States, Bita Bell is currently a member of Pussy Riot as dancer and choreographer, creative assistant and ambassador of On Board(hers), and international representative of Tehran’s Maha Dance Projects. She is soon to be PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Bita Bell has completed a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from research 1 American institution The Ohio State University. She was trained with acclaimed faculty such as Bebe Miller, Eddie Taketa, and Andre Zachary. Her 2019 MFA project Dam Noosh was awarded the AGGRS grant, was invited for a performance at the Borders in Motion conference, and received reviews from Dr Nadine George Grave, Dr Thomas DeFrantz, and Liam Clancy. She is the Creative Assistant for On Board(hers) project: a local all female immigrant dance community which was selected for a TEDxTalk and featured on NPR and PBS. Since 2012, she has collaborated on many dance projects as a choreographer and performer and has performed her own solo choreographies across the US including her 2017 solo Banned: a tour of Tehran which was performed at the Second Language Research Forum and the Access Theatre on Broadway in New York City. Very recently, she performed with the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot at NovaRock Festival and the EuroPride 2019 stage by the Rathaus in Vienna and was in rehearsal for their 2020 North-American Tour that was postponed due to the Pandemic.
Bita Bell is an award-winning short filmmaker and has had screenings internationally such as The Screen Dance Festival (Scotland), Dansfilmfestival (Stockholm), Unlike Film Festival (Finland, Indonesia), and recently at Merde The Show (New York City).
In 2016, she received her Bachelor of Arts in music composition from Earlham college while being a Shelby Davis Scholar. Her thesis was a quartet for piano, cello, violin, and flute in three movements titled “A Path To Forgiveness/Raahi be Bakhshesh”. She has been commissioned by choreographers such as Katherine Moore and Ashlee Taylor and her music has played across the United States including at the Fringe Festival in Colorado. She primarily focuses her music composition in collaboration with other dance artists as well as for her own choreographies such as her reconstruction of Rimsky’s Scheherazade for cello and clarinet as part of her solo dance performance titled “Dam Noosh”. She is a member of Iranian Female Composers Associations IFCA since 2017.
Cultural and Social Work
In her activism she received training at the Climate Reality Project led by Vice President Al Gore and is actively involved by supporting local organizations and businesses that promote sustainable living. In 2017 she acted as a representative and interviewee in the application and selection process of United World College Admissions in Iran. In 2012 she was the facilitator and trainer for Initiative for Peace on the Mindanao Conflict Conference in Hong Kong. In 2010 she received a certificate from The Goi Peace Foundation and UNESCO for her submission to the International Essay Contest for Young People.
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