Being at sea alters your sense of time and space.

Being on the sea,  you can feel, if not hear and respond,  the deep. You can have a silent conversation unlike any you’ve had before.

With dancers Josh Eguia and Ainesh Madan, I  am playing on opposites as a means to demonstrate the expansive sensation of being at sea.

Choreographing a multi-media dance makes you wish you could quiz an octopus as to how he blends into his environment, how does he change his colors?  These two slip in and out of control; separately they collect themselves, reach within for control, surrender to the call of a siren, and, then, with that common ground –  play. Reality – probably not…

Sasha Smith at Bell 8 at Waterfront Museum

20 years of bliss before the mast, as a 0-20 year old made me a full fledged space cadet, a happy airhead. Editing the film was a trigger to understand emotional rhythms, their physical manifestation, tempos, and to explore what triggers changes. Various neuroscientists, philosophers, biologists are doing research to decipher why proximity to water is so soothing. Just as a baby starts to coo when he/she is cradled, we all start to relax when we are in a vibrating train, or on a boat rising and falling. Certainly, I was hypnotized by the sea.


While we think of water in terms of cleansing, swimming, Narcissus,  we have not returned the favor; we have been unconscionable terrorists, abusing the oceans through polluting, overfishing, overheating the planet. BELL 8 is an homage to the sea. Nature needs the love now.

The Wake segment in the longer version of BELL 8 is an acknowledgement of  our trespasses and efforts to nudge people to imagine a future when we will treat the ocean with respect.

Woven into this love song is a celebration of current efforts to heal the ocean – art made from the same plastic), sea goddesses designed to serve as artificial reefs, and efforts to manage kelp forests

With storms becoming the norm, we can imagine that Poseidon is getting his revenge.


Photo by Nan Melville. Crane Beach, Massachusetts