Performing Artist. Director.Coach.

With fierce loyalty to movement and physical theater as an art form, Debora’s extensive performance background spans ballet, modern dance, tap.  After becoming Hatha yoga certified, mindfulness and overall well being greatly influence her approach to the arts. Debora has fostered a growing vision of traditional and experimental exceptionalism from voice-overs to theater acting, direction and production, from cabaret to variety, from feature films to short films. 

Debora is the founder of Group.BR, the only all Brazilian theater company in NYC, an award winning all Brazilian ensemble.  Her insatiable appetite for the arts led her to co-founding Nettles Artists Collective (NAC), an artist collective which has received multiple nominations for original work.

With theater credits to include the Cherry Orchard, Servant of Two Masters, Romeo and Juliet, The Threepenny Opera and Don Quixote de La Mancha Debora sought to deepen her roots in NYC by co-founding PUNTO, a venue for events, art happenings and performances that would serve as a creative home and place for artistic community to collaborate, explore and thrive.


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By Group .BR (NY’s only Brazilian Theater Company)

A visceral experience of Clarice Lispector’s work is the inspiration for the conception of the show Inside the Wild Heart, a site­ specific, fully immersive and participatory theatrical experience that transports audiences directly inside Lispector’s heart. The show, which is being created by Andressa Furletti and Debora Balardini, integrates visual arts, film, music, performance art and physical theater. Fulfilling Group .BR’s mission this will be a bilingual production that brings many aspects of Brazilian culture to New York. The audience will walk through rooms that represent aspects of the writer’s heart and can expect a multisensory experience. By providing opportunities for audience members to actively engage with the production, we seek to instill in the public a sense of curiosity about the world and themselves, and to fully enter Clarice Lispector’s truly wild heart.

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A solo work in progress about happiness, identity and what it means to be one more person with a million questions in a crowd of lonely people.

“Movement was what saved. And yet I feel dead. After leaving my home country I experienced health in its complete sense. My muscles relaxed. Just the thought of not being judged by my own family. The thought of walking the streets without being harassed by some man who wants to grab me only because I am a woman and I happen to be wearing lipstick that day. Just the thought being safe made me relax even though I still had to survive. At least I was focused on work and dreams. I was not focus on the constant state of arousal to protect myself from predators. I often wonder if that was what it meant to be civilized.” (Debora Balardini)



Apple of My Eye, an original multimedia and physical theater piece written and performed by Tathiana Piancastelli, a 31 year old Brazilian artist with Down syndrome. With a cast of ten actors, Apple of My Eye explores the themes of romantic love, inclusion, community and “normality” through the use of movement, text and experimental vocal techniques. Piancastelli plays the lead protagonist, Bella, a young woman who, despite her differences, learns about social acceptance and the disparities between love and fear.  The play is the first professionally produced piece of its kind. 


The piece is produced by Nettles Artists Collective in collaboration with MetaSocial Institute and it was first performed in Manhattan at Teatro Círculo (2013)  and at Punto Space (2015). Apple of My Eye was invited to perform at the International Hispanic Theatre Festival (2015) and in March 21st, 2016, it will be presented at UNICEF as part of the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), that discusses the “Elimination and Prevention of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls”, and the International Down Syndrome Day Conference (WDSD) with the theme “My Friends, My Community” both happening at the UN headquarters in New York. AOME director, Debora Balardini and the conceptual designer, Sandie Luna, both NAC co-founders and also the co-founders of PUNTO Space, will offer a statement with Piancastelli after the presentation and also speak in a Q & A session after the presentation along with a panel of guest speakers. The play is also scheduled and looking forward to tour Europe and Brazil in 2016. To add to the notable achievement, AOME has also been nominated for a 2016 Brazilian International Press Award.    

Past Projects


find your place and your personal voice as an artist


Discover all the potential you have by finding your place and your personal voice as an artist.

The Un-Layered Body is a workshop on physical theatre lead by Debora Balardini and Sandie Luna, Co-Founders and Co-Artistic Directors of the Nettles Artists Collective. This dynamic workshop centers on making the body and voice an unhindered, whole, tuned instrument for emotion and expression. Through exercises on “un-layering” the body into a discovery of the hidden in ourselves, we focus in the center layer of awareness and assimilation. A visceral connection of body and mind are central concepts of this work. Based in practices and explorations of different techniques ranging from Heller Work, Eutonia, Klaus Viana Technique, Fedora Aberasturi System of Movement, Choreographic Theatre, Roy Hart Technique for the Voice, Hatha Yoga and Ideokinesis.



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