I am a dancer, choreographer, visual artist, and performance artist.
I work across disciplines with theater companies, writers, musicians, composers, and filmmakers. My work is diverse in form and content, encompassing productions for the stage, site-specific pieces, and installation work.
I am interested in the blurred lines of psychology, sociology, performance, and our personal lives. I am inspired by the embodied movements of animals and small children. I am fascinated by secrets and the collective unconscious, and believe that movement and performance have the potential to shine light on the darkest of places.
My best pieces are borne from the merging of curiosity and movement. My artistic process involves improvisation, requires an availability and willingness on the part of the body, values risk-taking, and wouldn’t be possible without a lot of laughter.
Some elements of my work are challenging and hard to watch; I include them in the final piece because I believe that art, like life, is richer when it is multi-dimensional.
My work is often intensely collaborative, and I love to create with people of all kinds: old, young, dancer, actor, and self-described non-movers. These personal variations engage and inspire me: since the movement is personal to the individual in motion, the aesthetic of my work is constantly in flux. I do not have one overarching stylistic quality, although I have a propensity for repetition and extremes: tension and release, balance and off-balance, expansion and contraction.
I believe that the best art reveals something true or recognizable about being a human being. I am driven to make work that can do this while simultaneously imagining all of the other ways there are to be alive.
Nicola started her formal dance training in ballet at the age of three. Three years of classes and recitals in tutus were to follow, but it wasn’t until she took a modern class in high school and fell in love with the expressive quality of that movement that she realized her calling. To add more technical rigor to her dance, Nicola began taking ballet classes again and further supplemented her training with jazz dance classes. At Barnard College in New York City, she continued her dance studies, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Dance. She fell in love with choreography while taking the composition classes required for the Minor in Dance. After graduation, Nicola moved to Brooklyn and began to explore other forms of dance and movement, including Klein Technique, Pilates, Hip-Hop, Gaga, and Simonson Technique. She performed and choreographed professionally for several companies before moving back to North Carolina, where her creative work has been commissioned by local dance and theater companies and celebrated in the media as well as within the professional dance community.