Nancy Volante received a master’s degree in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College in Vermont. She has been teaching theatre, dance and creative movement residencies for twenty years, with a particular focus on integrating arts education in the classroom. . She is a senior teaching artist at Marquis Studios, NYC, and Lead teaching artist for Everyday Arts for Special Education at Urban Arts Partnership, NYC.
Ms. Volante is one of the Co-Author’s of Everyday Arts for Special Education (EASE). EASE is an arts integrated/research-based program that has been funded by an Innovation Grant awarded by the Federal Government.
She has extensive experience facilitating professional development for teachers, administrators, and teaching artists. She has presented at several conferences on integrating arts into the classroom for special education teachers.
Ms. Volante danced and toured with several companies in NYC and Boston and worked with several choreographers nationally and internationally. She was artistic director and founder of Traffic Improv, an Improvisational Theatre Company and Theatre School in Connecticut.
Ms. Volante’s artistic practice is community-based. She is currently working on a video (working title) Conversations, Collections, and Collaborations, and writing essays and poems about living in a grandiose society. She has recently finished a project entitled: Grand Central: Dancing with Intimate Strangers.
My life and art practice exists between different points of transitions or, more colloquially, “ comings and goings.” These comings and goings of passages through time and space connect and intersect between many different communities, places and my home.
Grand Central Station: Dancing with Intimate Strangers is the story of my life experiences, discoveries, beliefs, opinions, values and passion as a teaching artist, dance/theatre artist and woman moving through the process of transforming her dance/theatre art practice into a interdisciplinary art practice. Woven throughout my portfolio are video stills, photography, poetry, personal stories and links to videos that I have created throughout my time at Goddard College, studying the transitions of “comings and goings” through train stations, towns, cities, schools, homes, art galleries, squares and parks. Within these places that I have been and the conversations that I have had with people young and old, time and space inevitably holds the key to memories, values, opinions, beliefs, thoughts, and experiences.
My connections to my art practice, teaching practice and daily life are directly and indirectly connected to time, space, place, people and conversation. Within the context of my research, writing, video making and creative process, I search for the commonalities within our differences, which truly reveal our shared humanity. Thus, I have begun to emerge as an interdisciplinary artist and teacher.
Key words: Time, Space, Society, Culture, Conversation, Collaboration, Education, Ritual, Voice, Dance/Movement and Community.
I am first a community member then an artist, teacher and social rights advocate. My interests and passion lie in the space between the commonalities and the differences that people share as a society thus the very thing that makes us human. Whether these commonalities and differences reside in the relationship between family, friends, strangers, or to place, and social identities, I am committed to exploring and discovering self-expression, voice and conversation in others and myself. I am an observer/learner, who is interested in ideas, social justice, communities, culture and diversity. From my observations and experience, I have found that I am most stimulated when collaborations collide or reflect both the positive and negative aspects of human nature. Working from both sides of the coin inspires and informs my work in Applied Theatre.
My approach to making art and teaching is to make connections with the intention of building relationships through conversation, thus blurring the lines between art and life. My interdisciplinary approach to my art practice, coupled with my teaching practice, interchangeably use the mediums of written word, movement, spoken word, images, videos and photography. I collaborate with different communities and cultures on projects that evoke images and conversations about memories, human rights issues, environmental concerns, and lifestyle.
For me, collaboration is the core of my art and teaching practices. I observe people, places, and group identities. I engage in conversation and I am moved when commonalities reveal themselves within the differences in people and groups. It is my continued vision and goal to learn about the creative process in life/art, and work towards creating projects that blur the lines between life and art within the every day. My work is social, political and personal.
“I think we have to accept our differences in order to function not only as a society but to function as human beings with compassion, creativity, voice, and courage everyday”.