The Paper Ballet

I was honored to be the photographer of The Paper Ballet 2018! Nicole and I created a once-in-a-lifetime experience for dancers all over Nebraska. Ages ranging from three to 30 came together to celebrate that dance will live on forever. It was incredible bringing fairytales to life through our love of dance and art. We were fortunate enough to publish our very own book, The Paper Ballet full of Nebraska’s talent, paper art, and my photos!

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Sleeping Beauty - Moriah Pictured Above

What is The Paper Ballet?

The Paper Ballet is an on-going art project combining dance, paper fashion and photography. In this interpretation the dancer is the canvas and the artist is the storyteller bringing to life famous ballets. The photographer captures the moments forever frozen in time. The medium of paper allows the artist to create a fresh and new visual the audience isn’t accustomed to seeing. The Nebraska landscape acts as a living, breathing, moving stage for the dancer to bring the story to life. “As an artist I am fascinated with the imagination and I loved the idea that within our Nebraska landscape these fairytales could live among us...and we just need to look a little deeper to behold their magic. I feel the paper originally coming from the earth and trees is a natural extension of the storyline. It is as if the trees in the landscape are breathing life into the dancer. Nebraska is often considered a fly-over state and not a hub of the arts, I wanted to showcase our beautiful state, its architecture and its talent through this unique art project.When selecting a photographer for this work I chose Ali, because she and I have a fluid vision for dance and art. Ali’s dance teacher experience helps her communicate with the dancer while storytelling. ”

–Nicole Battelle Van Hook


The Artist

Hello, I’m Nicole
I grew up taking dance including ballet, jazz, contemporary
and tap. I was always as mesmerized by the activity
backstage as I was with the magic on stage. The lights, the
nervous butterflies, the sparkle of the Swarovski covered
costumes...the way we whispered to each other in
anticipation. I knew very early on that dance would always
play a major role in my life. I spent 12 years as a graphic
designer and manager for a fine stationery store...this was
where my love of paper began. So, I took my love of dance
and my passion for art and combined the two to create
Whispers The Paper Ballet. I specialize in upscale haute
couture paper fashion as well as sculptures. I have a
permanent exhibit at the National Museum of Dance In New
York. I was the 2017/18 Artist in Residence at the Lincoln
Marriott Cornhusker Hotel. When I am not designing paper
fashion, I am dreaming about it. I am so looking forward to
bringing this very special art project to life with you! I
believe if you look closely there are fairytales all around us.


The Photographer

Hi, I’m Ali
I began my dance journey at the age of 3. I grew up dancing
competitively and recreationally, focusing on the styles of ballet,jazz, lyrical and hip hop. I just couldn't stop dancing, so my dance career continued in college on the Concordia Nebraska Bulldogs Dance Team where I danced competitively for four years and studied graphic design. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, I fell in love with photography even more and naturally grew my business shooting weddings, concerts, art pieces, dancers, families, and many more. I became the Assistant Cheer and Dance Coach at Concordia University, Nebraska from 2015-2018. In 2016, I accepted a position at Corner Star Dance Studio where I currently teach ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz
and the competitive program. When I'm not teaching dance, you will most likely find a camera in my hand. I find so much love in what I do, and love capturing moments to last forever.


About our choreographer…

Victoria Pizzo was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana where she trained, choreographed, and danced competitively until she was 18. She then went to Chapman University where she received a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in English Literature and Creative Writing. At Chapman she fell deeper in love with choreography and truly began to perfect her craft in that avenue of dance. Since graduating in 2015, she has worked professionally as a dancer and choreographer around the country and internationally. She is the first ever winner of the choreography contest Make Your Move LA and a member of the Miss Universe choreography team. She is also now a judge, teacher, and choreographer for StarSystems Dance Competition and Nationals. She has choreographed and danced in music videos, commercials, films, and live tv broadcasts and is represented by Go 2 Talent Agency. She teaches regularly in California and is so excited to work with the dancers at the Paper Ballet!

Gallery Night Performance “Dream” by Priscilla Ahn

Videography by: Isaac Mertens and Choreography by Victoria Pizzo

These moments will live within my heart forever. I will never forget the sounds of their paper tutu’s rustling and the pitter-patter of their feet as they giggled. These dancers have become family.

Enjoy watching our “Behind the Scenes” video of our Gallery Night!