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Ms. Bamonte was an acclaimed dancer, performer and choreographer for over 25 years before resuming her work in clay in 1999, when she moved with her architect husband to Campello, about thirty minutes north of Spoleto in the Umbrian region of Italy. There she recommenced her studies in ceramic arts with sculptor and ceramicist Germano Cilento, who generously shared his studio with her for two years. Her husband incorporated 16th century stone ruins in the house he designed, which is perched on a steep mountain slope studded with olive trees. Ms. Bamonte's new studio shares the spectacular view of the Umbrian valley.
Ms. Bamonte's interest in ceramics was established during her undergraduate studies with William Daley at Philadelphia's University for the Arts, where she received her BFA in cinematography. She continued her studies at the Tyler School of Art with Rodolph Staffel while completing her Master in Education in Dance at Temple University, where she was awarded a full scholarship and graduate assistantship. Prior to establishing her own professional dance company in 1993, Ms. Bamonte shared the Artistic Directorship of Zero Moving Dance Company with its founder, Hellmut Gottschild. She had performed with that ensemble company since its inception in 1972.
In addition to her current work as a ceramicist, Ms. Bamonte continues to pursue her interest in creative projects which involve multi-disciplinary collaborations. She is frequently invited to conduct workshops in dance technique, movement, composition and improvisation both in the U.S. and Europe. She occasionally accepts commissions for new work.
One hallmark of her dance career has been a persistent interest in creating and discovering intersections between movement, music and text. In 1994 she conceived and directed the full length movement theatre piece Fallen Shadows, which provided her the opportunity to explore similar interests in the realm of voice, text and visual arts working with the themes of memory and the disappearance or death of operatic divas and their female characters. Fallen Shadows was created with five collaborating artists in addition to composer, Guy Klucevsek. The elaborately costumed piece was reconstructed in 1995 for performances at an international dance festival in Berlin. Ms. Bamonte's solo work Border Prodigies and her last two ensemble pieces, Red/Blue...Shift and Landscape of Love, were all made in collaboration with composer Heath Allen
Ms. Bamonte choreographed over forty works, including 15 major group pieces, for her Company. These works have been supported by grants from nationally based foundations and corporations, and have been performed at important venues in the U.S. and internationally. A film of her work Fever was produced and aired in 1992 by WHYY television with a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Ms. Bamonte was awarded two significant Meet the Composer Composer /Choreographer Commissioning grants to support her commissions of New York composers Lois Vierk and Guy Klucevsek. She received four consecutive Philadelphia Repertory Development Initiative grants and other important awards supported her multi-disciplinary solo pieces Difficult Loves, which was inspired by Italo Calvino's character of Mr. Palomar, and Border Prodigies, based on Oliver Sack's writing about autistic savants. Ms. Bamonte was also awarded five choreography fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and an Interdisciplinary Arts Fellowship from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
Between 1984 and 1987 she also co-directed the interdisciplinary theater group Text/Flesh with writer/audio artist Gregory Whitehead and percussionist Toshi Makihara, creating four major works and numerous improvisations which were performed both in the U.S. and Europe. She received two Artists' Residencies at the Djerasssi Foundation in California and in 1984 Ms. Bamonte was guest artist in residence at the Tanz Tangent in Berlin where she spent six months teaching, choreographing and performing.
Her Artist's Statement describes the parallel processes and points of dynamic tension she has found in working creatively as both a ceramicist and a choreographer. These shifting relationships between the human/dancing body and the inner rhythms she finds in the work with clay account for her continuing satisfaction in pursuing both creative spheres.