Independent Project

To Color Me Different


Created for AXIS Dance Company (2008)

Choreography by Alex Ketley

Music: Fink and Thomas Hecker

Danced by Sonsheree Giles and Rodney Bell


Winner of The 2008 Isadora Duncan Award for Best Ensemble Performance


Voice of Dance
December 2008

Top Ten Dance Performances of 2008

“Alex Ketley’s To Color Me Different (YBCA Novellus Theater). "The dances came fast and furious in this year’s WestWave which limited all entries to under five minutes duration. That was more than enough time for Ketley to deliver this searing duet for Sonsherée Giles and Rodney Bell from AXIS, The constant shifts for dominance by the dancers seemed almost transgressive. Unforgettable."

San Francisco Chronicle
November 2008

"One of the most riveting Bay Area dances of 2008 starred a tiny, fierce redhead and a brawny, burningly intense man in a wheelchair. In Alex Ketley's duet "To Color Me Different," Axis Dance Company members Sonsheree Giles and Rodney Bell toss themselves into a torrent of volatile intimacy. Giles flips herself over Bell's shoulders and across the stage; Bell throws the wheelchair, tightly lashed to his immobile legs, to the floor and rolls upright again, in full command of his essentially three-limbed physicality. No doubt part of the fascination of the piece comes from seeing an unconventional body fearlessly attempting unexpected things. But watching "To Color Me Different" at various local dance festivals this summer, there was no separating the power of Bell's physical determination from his passionate connection with Giles. This is not a duet about being disabled; it's about the perils of attraction and trust."

Dance View Times
August 2008

"The best choreographers shaped the five-minute format into concise, clearly articulated little gems. With one clean swipe Alex Ketley broke a longstanding taboo. His shockingly ferocious “To Color Me Different” wiped off the table Pollyannish ideas about able bodied and disabled people always getting along just fine. In this duet for Axis Dance Company’s Rodney Bell and Shonsherée Giles, the dancers hit the stage in the middle of a knockout fight. They yanked, dragged and threw each other. If anything, the battle only heated up when the powerfully built Bell flipped the small-boned Giles over his wheelchair, and she rammed her head into his groin. The confrontation left both of them shaking with exhaustion. Whatever the source of this conflict was, they fought it out as equals."