Choreographer: Danah Bella
Company: d a n a h b e l l a DanceWorks
Artist Statement/Philosophy/Mission Statement:
I understand the role of the artist to be an interpreter of change and a facilitator of critical dialogue allowing for progressive, proactive and prophetic technologies to be created to meet the monumental challenge of this signifying drama. My works explore the interaction and interplay of corporal, psychic, and social spaces through and with movement. To this end, the body becomes the primary tool to investigate how we produce/interpret knowledge and signify our sense of being in the world.
Short Artist/Company Bio:
Danah received her MFA in performance from the Ohio State University and her BA in Dance from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has had the opportunity to perform with Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, Umoja Dance; tour nationally with Pearl Ubungen Dancers and Musicians, internationally with Alleluia Panis Dance Theatre; and perform for children with Dancing Earth. In 2004 she founded
d a n a h b e l l a DanceWorks, a contemporary dance company based in Southwest Virginia, with long time collaborator Salvador Barajas. Her creative work has been presented throughout the United States, Mexico, and Italy; she has been invited as a Guest Artist to numerous institutions and companies throughout the nation including Columbia College, Western Michigan University, Moving Collective, Perpetual Motion Dance Conmpany; and she has been on faculty at Pro Danza Italia, Bates Dance Festival, the Monterey Dance Festival, the American College Dance Festival and at present is the Interim Chair of the Division of Dance at Radford University.
Describe some of your achievements over the course of the last five years:
I have directed d a n a h b e l l a DanceWorks for the last 5 seasons. The company continues to be produced in festivals showcasing dance throughout the nation as well as internationally which include but are not limited to Dumbo Dance Festival and Cool New York Festival in New York City; Bates Dance Festival in Maine; Yes, Virginia Dance festival in Richmond, VA; Charlotte Dance Festival in North Carolina; Louisiana Dance Festival in Baton Rouge; New Releases Dance Showcase in Washington D.C.; Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival; Pilot Dance Festival in Dallas, Texas; United States of Asian American Festival in San Francisco, California; and Pro Danza Italia in Tuscany.
I have had the privilege to create work on dance companies throughout the nation such as Perpetual Motion Dance Company in Oklahoma, Moving Collective in Kentucky, and Mountain Movers Dance Company in Tennessee.
As a member of colectivo caliban, I have the opportunity to work in partnership with artists on crafting experimental work investigating deterritorialization, crossing borders between bodily self and society, subject and object, noise and music.
What do you hope to gain from the experience of participating in this festival?
I hope to gain insight into new and different modes of movement inquiry as well as establish working relationships with fellow artists.
Have you participated in other festivals or showcases?
Yes, I have participated in different festivals throughout the country including the Bates Dance Festival, Cool New York Festival, Louisiana Dance Festival, Charlotte Dance Festival, the United States of Asian America Festival, to name a few.
If so – what were elements you enjoyed and what areas do you think could have been
I rather enjoyed participating in the smaller festivals where the producers knew your name and were generally interested in your work and your process. The community feeling is what made these experiences memorable.
Due to the large number of participating artists at many of the festivals I have had the privilege to be a part of, I did not have the opportunity to network nor dialogue about process, dance, craft, etc… I’m excited to read that this is included as part of your festival.
Work Danah will be bringing to the Festival
Number of performers: 1
Brief Description of the Work:
Based on my witnessing of the onset of dementia, this work explores the loneliness and disappointment caused by the process of losing a memory, regaining a memory, and forgetting it once again.