Tune In You All

A video by Nancy Volante

“Working in the world, I've grown increasingly distressed. Especially in the last few years, things clearly are not going right. Good people are finding it increasingly difficult to do what they know is best. Whether we're in a small village or a major global corporation, in any country and in any type of work, we are being asked to work faster, more competitively, more selfishly, and to focus only on the short-term. These values cannot lead to anything healthy and sustainable, and they are alarmingly destructive. I believe we must learn quickly now how to work and live together in ways that bring us back to life. I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again.”
-Margaret Wheatley, Turning to One Another

I too believe that the world can transform if we start listening to each other, engage in conversation and slow down our everyday living in small steps. I include myself in this quest to slow down the everyday. Through conversation, I think there are great possibilities to begin to embrace our differences and become aware of our commonalities. It is through continued conversation that I have learned to reflect on my emotional, spiritual, mental and physical experiences over the last two and a half years. Conversation aids my learning, allowing me to explore on an on going basis and discover who I am in the world as an artist, teacher, and woman.

My comings and goings and transitions through Grand Central Station has given me opportunities to have numerous conversations with people, children and colleagues of all ages and abilities about life, human rights, creativity, community, ancient practices, education, life and death. I have framed my discoveries and exploration into a choreographed body of work that utilizes the mediums of video, writing, movement, and the everyday. As a community-based artist, I am moved, enriched, inspired, and possess deep sadness and yet great hope that we will change the course of our existence in order to listen to each other. I have high expectations that we will slow down and connect with one another, trust our imagination and value the creative process to solve problems, and heal broken hearts. I believe that we need to celebrate our achievements individually and communally. Realizing that it is all right to experience failure because out of failure with commitment and integrity we can individually and communally achieve success.

As I walk in Grand Central Station to go to work or for pleasure and as I walk out of Grand Central Station to go home, I have deeply integrated my art practice with my everyday life. With that said Grand Central Station has taught me that every minute of time counts and in every space there is something or someone to notice. We all have something worth saying; we all affect the world in some way.

I am more aware of my humanness then ever before. The intimate strangers, friends, family, students and faculty who have danced with me over the last two and a half years will continue to be my teachers on this road to personal and professional growth, inspiration, learning and change. This engagement with the outer world keeps and directs me in thinking critically, creatively and humanly. I have made a passionate commitment artistically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally to continue this ongoing dance through the everyday.

My intimate choreographies in this portfolio have given me the stage in which I can and do cultivate conversation in places that hold memories, values, philosophies, aspirations, hurt, loss, and growth personally and professionally. My deep intention all along in living this process of transforming my art practice over the last two and a half years is that I have mirrored though my writing, video making and teaching that whether conscious or unconscious we all have a yearning to voice, engage, connect, and create with ourselves and each other in the everyday, thus blurring the lines between life and art and art and life.

This dance of the everyday though non-traditional in the sense of the word is right in front of us, every minute, and in every space throughout the comings/goings and transitions within the framing of time and space. We just have to be aware, listen and have the willingness to dance with an intimate stranger, friend or family member to receive the gifts of the everyday.

Please don’t leave Grand Central Station: Dancing with Intimate Strangers without tuning in.