Rodney is an Internationally renowned dancer and performer of Maori descent, Ngāti Maniapoto. Rodney has been dancing professionally since becoming a founding member in 1994 of Touch Compass Dance Trust, an integrated dance company in Auckland, New Zealand.
In 2007, he moved to California, U.S.A, to join AXIS Dance Company, winning an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2008. In 2011, he was invited as a guest artist to appear with Sonsherée Giles on So You Think You Can Dance America. He also performed with many other independent artists and arts organisations while experiencing years of homelessness. On his return to Aotearoa, he collaborated with the talented artists at Movement of the Human to create and develop Meremere: a powerful autobiographical survival story focussing on his time of living on the streets of San Francisco.
Rodney actively works not only as an artist but also as an advocator and provocateur, calling for stronger integration and providing voice for people with diverse requirements to have more choice and control over their lives.
His talent and leadership as a disabled performing artist have won him the Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award 2017 and the Attitude Artistic Achievement Award in 2016.
He waka eke noa Translation: A canoe we are all in with no exception
For more on Rodney Bell, read his responses to 12 questions from NZ Herald here.
Rodney Bell: Dancing his memories
Dancer Rodney goes from homeless to spotlight
Rodney Bell, a dancer in wheelchair, recognised for ‘exemplary’ career