Bell & Belman is a joyous pairing of the paintings of Trevor Bell and the choreography of Rodger Belman hosted at the Museum of Fine Arts. Contact between the two artists was set into motion as a visual conversation between Bell’s vibrant works and Rodger’s vivid choreography in his series of duet, solo, quartet, and quintet forms under the title “Time & Tides.”
Rodger, colleagues, and students first visited an exhibition of Bell’s paintings at the Museum in 2014; footage of that introduction (“sketching” by the dancers) appears as a promise of future choreography in a video in the current installation. Other performances are also projected as companion works—Belman’s always fluent and changing movements—with the paintings: the first video projection is a black-box theatre performance where Bell’s paintings float in the darkness and Rodger’s dancers move between them in the light and space; the second performance is a Smith-Fichter Theatre documentation of Belman’s “Time & Tides.”
The latest and last movement of Rodger Belman’s work was performed at the Museum on October 20, a performance that was his vision in relationship to Trevor Bell’s painting Southern Light, which is a chromatic installation of 125 feet of brilliant color. Dancers led by Gianna Mercandetti also performed before Bell’s “Stills” series of tonal gradients and other works from his gestural canvases evoking wind and landscapes of India, Cornwall, and the night launches at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
In 2015 Rodger and Trevor met on the coast of Cornwall in St Ives, a rare convergence of the artists this exhibition now celebrates.