Collected Interviews From Center For Performance Research Artists in Residence: Series 8

The following interview is part of a larger publication of collected interviews among Center for Performance Research’s New Voices in Live Performance artists: Sidra Bell, Antonio Ramos, Elisabeth Motley, and Alexis Zacarello. The publication edited by Elisabeth Motley and J. Haggis provides a platform for shared dialogue and conversation for both the participating artists and public.


Alexis emails Sidra: Hey Sidra- here are some questions for you- see you soon -A

AZ: What’s your background? How did you
get into dance in the first place?
SB: I’m from New York City, and I was raised in
a family made up of artists. My parents are
musicians, and most everyone in my
immediate family is creative. My mom
enrolled me at Dance Theatre of Harlem at
age seven, where I began a rigorous eight
years of preprofessional training. I had
previously taken ballet in preschool. After my
training at Dance Theatre of Harlem I moved
to The Ailey School, which diversified the
techniques I was training in. I think my mom
recognized dance as a means for me to
open up and communicate, as I was very

AZ: What about choreography? How did you
find that?
SB: I started choreographing solos on myself
in high school. My academic high school and The Ailey School had several opportunities for students to showcase work. Making movement has always been natural for me.

AZ: Do you still have any similar interests as a
dance maker now since you began making
SB: Form has always been my primary interest.

AZ: How do you sit on the
contemporary/modern dance fence? What
kind of genre would you describe your dance
work to fall into, if you were being hyperdescriptive?
SB: I’m not sure I want to know where I sit in
the spectrum of dance makers. I want to
keep changing.

AZ: How many dance works have you made?
SB: Over 100.

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