Grief Point. (A Dance Work by Sidra Bell)

A solo experience that is both haunting and mesmerizing! This piece is called, Grief Point, choreographed by Sidra Bell and performed by Moo Kim. This music is by Loscil called “The Making of Grief Point”.

Grief Point was premiered at the International Solo Tanz-Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Germany in 2011 where Sidra Bell won first place for choreography and Moo Kim first place for performance.

Sidra Bell has become a national and internationally sought after choreographer. She was born and raised in New York City, where her formative dance training was at the Harlem Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey Youth Program. She went on to receive a degree in history from Yale University and a MA in choreography from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. She is currently a Master Lecturer at the University of Arts (Philadelphia) and the artistic director of her own New York based contemporary dance company, Sidra Bell Dance New York (SBDNY)

Bell’s work has a wide scope that is considered to be a highly innovative, provocative and kinetic form of dance theatre which has a distinct female energy and voice that is unconventional, highly charged and forward-looking. Her work explores the human condition though psyche and illuminating ideas that are beautiful, frightening, tragic and life affirming. She explores psychological states through futurism, memory, dreams and nostalgia states and references.

The solo, Grief Point, was inspired from Loscil’s score, The Making of Grief Point, which is a disquieting account through a series of half sentences, of a musicians tortured process in the creation of an imaginary ambient sound track. The words are spoken over a hovering dark and ominous electronic background that remind me of mysterious slow moving fog. The song sounds more like a ‘stream of conscious’ nostalgic rambling that evokes unsettling and mysterious images and feelings.

I am fascinated how Sidra Bells has used this music. She has used stark minimal lighting wrought with dark shadows and a lone dancer who seems imposed upon by the shadows surrounding him and a haunting voice that we hear seemingly in his head and see ‘meaningly’ through his body. The movement and music are closely linked that at times the music highlights the movement and other times the movement underscores an unfinished idea in the song and at other times they intersect, illuminating poignant and arresting, albeit, disturbing moments.

In the beginning the dancer is seen waiting under an umbrella in the rain, then walks slowly, intrepidly through a seeming mist of shadows of the surreal undefined space of his memory. The movement is minimal, at times stark and expressive and at times disturbing and highly charged, especially, when in shadows, he seems to come apart. Spatially he moves into different places as different thoughts emerge and as he dances in one space to black out, he emerges out of anther in mid thought. The movement is dynamic articulating powerful moments and pauses. I feel like a voyeur observing a private account of the psychologically agonizing and haunting inner and outer experience of a person’s journalled process.

This solo is powerful. I am totally mesmerized and fascinated by it. It is no wonder it was award winning on two accounts.

Enjoy this beautifully evocative and haunting work by Sidra Bell and SHARE it on!


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