(LENOX, Mass.) – Dancer and poet Ian Spencer Bell performs Banderole, a new solo, at The Mount, from Wednesday, August 26, through Monday, August 31, at 5pm. Audience members are invited to view the live performance at a safe, social distance from the lawn and in the forecourt, where chairs are provided. The event is free, and a conversation with the artist follows.
Banderole is named for the scroll, flag, and sculptured band. The abstract solo unfurls, waves, and whips along paths, on a rise of rocks, and in the gray-graveled forecourt. Classical shapes merge with pedestrian gestures and create a kind of calligraphy. Bell started work on the piece in early March through a series of improvisations that explored direction, line, and breath. “Quickly,” Bell says, “the dancing became an act of brooding, easing, and quieting — a meditation.”
“Banderole will enliven The Forecourt, a dramatic and often underutilized part of The Mount’s grounds, and invite the audience to reflect on the meditative and architectural elements of Bell’s dancing,” says Michelle Daly, public programs director at the Mount.
The New York Times describes Bell as a dancer of “gentle but defined precision.” Berkshire audiences will recall his 2019 Duet at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and his 2018 Marrow in Sommers Studio at Jacob’s Pillow. Bell has danced his solos at Boston Center for the Arts, CounterPulse, Poetry Foundation, and Queens Museum. He lives in New York City and in western Massachusetts.
Refreshments will be available at the Terrace Café, and the grounds at The Mount are open until dusk. As space is limited, advance reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made online at The Mount.
The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home, is a National Historic Landmark and cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic, and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton (1862-1937), one of America’s greatest authors. Wharton wrote over 40 books in 40 years, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Age of Innocence, which celebrates its centennial in 2020.
The Mount presents Wharton’s life and achievements through tours of her house and gardens along with thematic tours of her library, a tour from the point-of-view of her servants, and a popular ghost tour. The Mount is the literary hub of the Berkshires and hosts lectures by national authors and scholars, panels, and an annual writers-in-residency. Additional programs include live dance, music, and bird walks.