The Artists

Nicole Battestilli

September 5th, 2014

Performance • Philadelphia, PA, USA •

“Every once in a while I try to sleep. I’m also addicted to coke zero.”

Unraveled Artist Interview:

Q: What is your philosophy on dance? If you do not have one, please talk about that instead.
A: I have so many philosophies on dance I don’t even know where to start. I started dancing because I was doing theater and I realized I was going to get better roles if I knew how to dance. This was around the same time I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and we realized the more I danced the less symptoms I had so I started dancing more and more and then fell in love with it as an art form. When I teach I want dance to be as healing for my students as it was for me (physically and emotionally). I think dance (like all art) should have a purpose besides being pretty. If you’re not making me think or exposing me to something new, you’re boring me.

Q: What  feelings affect you and influence you the most?
A: Not to sound morbid, but pain and searching. I love work where characters are desperately trying to figure themselves out and how they relate to the world/people around them, because that’s what we’re all trying to do.

Q: How do you understand the interface between sound and visual?
A: They’re just separate layers to a piece. Just like all the other parts of a performance. I love to see how the performance gets augmented by music and lights and costumes and set. It’s all pretty magical to me. Sometimes the visual responds to the sound and sometimes the sound echoes the visual. Depending how they’re used, it can totally transform a piece.

Q: Briefly explain how you begin your creative process and how you decide when something is done.
A: Well, I think there are two ways this works. There are my independent projects which even if I “finish” them are never really done. Those begin when something inspires me. The second way is that someone asks me to work on a project. Those have deadlines, which is probably good for everyone, and I usually work with a team to get excited about whatever we’re doing. Basically at some point I hit a moment where I realize this particular thing needs to be done for now.

Q: Do you believe in the process more than result or result more than process? Why?
A: Neither, because art doesn’t work that way. If you only have a process with no result, you’re not making art, you’re just being creative. If you have a result without a process, it’s just work and no fun. I didn’t go into the arts to do something I hate. They’re both equally important.

Q: Why do you value being part of an independent artist community?
A: Because independent artists blow my mind. Being around other artists adds fuel to my fire. Being around insanely talented people who are crazy passionate about their work (and always freakishly intelligent, I don’t know the science behind why that’s true, but it just is) brings out all the beauty of life. I want to experience everything life has to offer and this is a big part of that.

Q: How can people support you further?
A: Email is best – It’s the fastest way to get a response from me.

Featured image (above) photographed by Callan Kapush for Unraveled for the Penumbra show at AUX in Philadelphia on 8/9/14.

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