Tag Archives: Contemporary Dance

Banned: A Tour of Tehran in under 10 minutes

Banned: A Tour of Tehran in under 10 minutes

Banned: A Tour of Tehran in under 10 minutes, was created as a response to the Travel (Muslim) Ban Executive Order signed by Donald Trump. This piece invited the audience to be open to their imagination, intuition, emotions, sensations, and intellect to virtually experience  a neighborhood in Tehran. No passports needed!! Although this piece was made as a result of the ban, it speaks about larger themes such as immigration, exile, and being “The Other”. This piece engages the American audience with Iranian culture through score-based improvisation inspired by postmodern era dance forms. 

Choreographer, Dancer, Sound Editor: Bita Bell
Music: Karen Homayounfar
May 2017



Tiny Dance in 4 x 4

In Collaboration with Choreographer Clair Melbourne, Fellow Graduate Student!

Ten Tiny Dances is a performance series dedicated to fostering inventive dance/performance art and providing an accessible performance experience for a diverse audience all on a 4 by 4 foot stage.

Performed at Movement Activities – 400 Rich St.
March 17th @ 8pm
March 18th @ 2pm & 8pm
Tickets are $10 cash only at the door.

Ten Tiny Dances® was created in Portland, Oregon in 2002 and continues to be produced by founder Mike Barber and others, with permission. Please see www.tentinydances.org for more information.

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” ______ is a myth. A myth is a story of unidentified origin or of different origins. A myth is based on one central story which is retold over and over in different variations. A myth denies one history as well as one truth and implies a search for truth in the spaces, in the differences between the different stories. Speaking about ______ as a myth, is not intended to mystify it. It simply indicates that _____ only exists in plural.”

FRACTUS V / Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Eastman

Cover Image: Fractus V (c) Filip Van Roe

*Fractured Movement

In Fractus several different music and dance traditions were weaved together that inevitably fabricated a very diverse performance. We witnessed Fabian Thome Duten’s flamenco dancing to African musician Kaspy N’dia, and Patrick Seebacher’s break-dancing to Japanese percussionist Shogo Yoshii. The integrity and authenticity of these musical and dance traditions were preserved by their performance ownership by artists who define themselves with the same traditions. Yet, the integration of these different traditions was a symbol of our globalized world that reflect one of the meanings of Fractus put forth by Sidi Larbi: “certain taboos are often broken these days and certain truths are undeniable, but we still miss the capacity to digest them or place them in the right context. Because of that we are often pushed into an “us versus them” mentality.”


Fractus V (c) Filip Van Roe

Overall, the music served as the force to forward motion the scenes, the transitions between one action or scene to the other, it’s not so much led by the movements but by the sounds. So often, the music provided an atmosphere and mood appropriate for a particular scene, rather than containing melodies or rhythms that the dancers danced to in direct relation. For example: the scenes were one of the dancers was saying a monologue with gestural arm and hand motions, the music was not exaggerated to leave space for the text to be highlighted.


Fractus V (c) Filip Van Roe

Besides music being a strong factor to make transitions, the set design was an architectural construction that defined the space and in consequence moved the dancers. In one scene, all the triangular pieces were being lifted from the ground one by one, limiting a solo dancer’s space, leaving him stranded on one piece. This was another metaphorical creation embodying “the fracture between the individual and society”. Another scene that seems very vivid in my memory is when some of the triangular pieces were placed vertically in a semi-circle. A dancer falls on one end, causing the architecture to collapse in a domino effect, every board making a loud sound hitting the next, all the while the music building up, until the very end when BOOM it hit a dancer sitting in a chair reading a news magazine. This was a strong visual embodying the shocking effect of experiencing propaganda and mass information.


Fractus V (c) Bettina Strenske


Fractus V (c) Tristram Kenton

I would not be the only one to argue that there were many sections of movements that were danced in unison. Although on one hand it reflected societal movements in a sense of togetherness, artistically it disengaged the audience at times, specifically due to its unnecessary long duration. One of the moments were all dancers came together was when they were sculpting themselves in tableau like style. They climbed and hung from one dancer, composing him into a greedy king with nasty facial expression, giving a physical meaning to the ways in which political leaders misuse, abuse, and manipulate common people.


*This essay was written for a class assignment as a reflection on Eastman’s performance on Novemeber 15th at the Davidson Theatre, Columbus OH.

©Bita Bell

Solo: Orient and Occident

©Bita Bell

Inspired by Arvo Pärt’s Orient and Occident.

Roman Mosaic Patterns

Persian Tile Patterns

Spatial Pattern:

1st showing – 20 September

Class Feedback:
The military walks worked well against the music chosen.
Think about adding more variations on the arms and perhaps similar variations for lower body.
The phrase on the center seemed disjunct to the beginning.
The boxing of the space worked well the first time but the reverse needs rethinking.
Try to merge the center phrase with militaristic walks somehow.
Play more with symmetry.

2nd showing – 22 September

Class Feedback:
Experiment again with the military walks from the first showing. Perhaps don’t sit back down!

Wexner Center for the Arts Showing – 23 September

Full Solo, in class showing – 29 September

Class Feedback:

Cohesive from floor to walking . Organically driven
Ritualistic for the repetition and spacing.
Looks like something very important was being said. A Tragic story.
Setting up a Place of worship.
Hair and gender stood up.
The change of arms and their transitions were not clear and as smooth
Perhaps project the tiles on the floor.
Spatial development to nail some moments and phrasing.
Balances of extremes , relationship in throwing vs the stillness
Asymmetry; Ying and yang. Maybe go a bit improvisational.
Showcase all the variables.

Overlaying the Mosaic Patterns:


Photos From Solo Performance at the Wexner Center for the Arts: