Banderole: Dance Performance by Ian Spencer Bell

August 26, 2020 @ 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
The Mount Forecourt
2 Plunkett St
MA 01240

Join us for a meditative and sculptural dance performance set against the dramatic background of The Forecourt. Each night from August 26 – 31, Ian Spencer Bell will perform a short, approximately 10-15 minute long piece, Banderole, followed by a talkback with the artist. We welcome you to stay and explore the grounds (open until dusk).

Photo credit: Hayim Heron
Photo credit: Hayim Heron

Banderole is named for the scroll, flag, and sculptured band used in architecture for bearing an inscription. The abstract solo unfurls, waves, and whips left to right, diagonal, and front to back. Classical shapes merge with pedestrian gesture to create a kind of calligraphy. Bell started work on the piece in early March through a series of improvisations that explored line and breath. “Quickly,” Bell says, “the dancing became an act of brooding, easing, and quieting—ultimately a meditation.”

The New York Times describes Bell as a dancer of “gentle but defined precision” and his work as “not dance and not poetry but some third medium.” This fall he performed with his group at CounterPulse in San Francisco, Cal., Dance Complex in Cambridge, Mass., and at Boston Center for the Arts. He lives in New York City and in Western Mass, where he is a visiting artist at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

Banderole is presented in partnership with Berkshire Pulse.

Photo credit: Kyle Froman

Ian Spencer Bell is a dancer and poet. The New York Times describes his work as “autobiography, written in bodies.” His first performances were danced outdoors and awarded a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has performed his solos at Boston Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, Poetry Foundation, and Queens Museum. Ballet Review, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Movement Research, and Narrative have published his writing.

Bell was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Fauquier County, Virginia. He trained at North Carolina School of the Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and School of American Ballet. He was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and New York University, where he received an MFA in poetry. For a decade throughout the United States, he led education and training programs for American Ballet Theatre. He is dance artist in residence at the Nightingale-Bamford School and visiting artist at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. He lives in the Berkshires and New York City.

The Berkshire Pulse mission is to build and strengthen community life through diverse and accessible programming in performing, movement and creative arts. By promoting the participation in these educational and health sustaining activities, we enrich the lives of families and individuals of all ages throughout the region.


The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact us at 413-551-5100 or by email,, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.