SUBJECT: NORA COTE
Nora Cote’ is from and still creating in Montreal. She is both an explosion of expressive energy and a genuinely inspiring soul. We discovered Nora through her reels on Social media and were immediately drawn to her unique blend of visual tools and range of movement styles. Nora presents a refreshing spin on formal & contemporary movement styles with the addition of striking alternative dance influences. Nora is truly an artist in every sense and manages to use space, effects, and contexts fluidly and in unexpected ways.
She’s been dancing on huge stages and amongst huge mentors from a young age and has recently decided to leave the formality behind and embrace a dive into new levels of creative experimentation. Social media being the platform that lends itself to Nora’s mix of Video Effects and unconventional movement methods.
THE OBJECT: OLD GREEN MASSAGE BALL (Gently Stolen)
It’s sort of funny actually and every dancer has one of these. This one, however, was left for dead and I gave it a second life. It represents the very beginning of my professional training as an interpreter in contemporary dance, the ball was at the bottom of a lost and found box. It was just there, abandoned and among a bunch of other lost things that didn't have a home. Two months later, I noticed that it was still there unclaimed, so I committed the crime, I ran away with the old ball that was just left there for dead.
Till this day the ball is always by Nora’s side.
This ball inspires me so much because every time I look at it, I get nostalgic about my training and where I discovered my own movement. This time for me was a level reset. It meant starting from Zero and starting with ME. Not, every style that was previously impressed upon me. She (the old green ball) is now an old partner that I greet at every session and I bring it along even if I don't use it. It’s just there watching me and all the time.
Tell us about a time it was hard to be yourself, or when being yourself led to a breakthrough?
The contemporary dance world is all about performance and it’s always a struggle to look and be the best. At 17, I left all that behind. Letting go of everything I thought I knew. I no longer seek to mimic the styles of any of my mentors.
It was leaving the world of formal training and study that led to the biggest breakthrough for Nora. Unlocking autonomy and led her to understand the restorative time she needed for herself. The pressures in the high-stakes professional dance world impacted her health and well-being. Having to balance those tensions for so long was a challenge and it didn't feel natural.
I feel like I learned how to embrace an alternate existence. One, apart from who I was always “supposed,” to become this big-time contemporary dancer, I always visualized myself as that person. My identity was wrapped up in it for a while. When I was in that world I was always motivated by fear. That path promised a blossoming career but If you finish and nobody wants you, then NOBODY wants you. You become a survival machine. And, in reality, after doing it for a while I realized it didn't align with my purpose or passion.
Performing to be accepted vs fulfilling your passion and sharing YOU with the world is very different. These days I'm being very intentional about freeing myself from that former way of being. I'm going to delve into new worlds, with no expectations.
Social media was the perfect MEDIUM. It’s really opened a new door for me. I'm taking what I can from all my formal training, but I'm making it my own. I'm able to create a new reality and touch more people with complete liberty to mix mediums and contexts.
My goal is to share knowledge and inspire without conventional limitations or restrictions. I seek to live in my purpose and be balanced, mind, body, and Soul.
WHAT’S SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT NORA, THAT YOU’D WANT EVERYONE TO HEAR?
When I meet people, they usually ask me to describe or categorize the type of dance I do. I'm always unsure how to give a short answer like “contemporary dancer, online creator, or improvisational dancer.” I navigate a range of styles in my Improvisation and express through a variety of digital & physical mediums. It’s fluid and based on mood & inspiration. If I'm angry maybe I'll present a krump movement with edgy video effects and if I'm feeling more grounded maybe It’s floor movements in nature. What I aim for is to be a person with a very wide creative range. It will always be vary depending on the context, social media, in the streets, or on a stage.
On a more personal note, I don't think people know how much of a nerd I am. I like to search for random information, read up on the history of dance or and things I'm curious about. I just love learning and being curious and I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty giving things a try.
Nora is a Montreal Canada-based all-around creative experimentalist. In Nora's own words...I live as my improvisations, while finishing every movement I start, I focus on the path between A and B. My mission is to share dance knowledge, make it accessible. I believe that everybody should know how their body works and how it can express or heal itself through movement. Dance is not always about performance.
More info: linktr.ee/Re.cept