Dance Department to Host Award-winning Choreographer in Virtual Residency

Nejla Yatkin
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Nejla Yatkin will teach classes in modern dance, choreography, and dance history.

The Department of Dance will host the award-winning dancer and choreographer Nejla Yatkin in a virtual residency February 15-26 and March 8-11. Yatkin will teach classes in modern dance, choreography, and dance history, speaking also about her personal career and issues of diversity and migration as represented in the dance field.

Among her many fellowships and awards, Nejla Yatkin is a 2018 Drama Desk Award nominee, a 3Arts Award fellow, and a Princess Grace Choreography recipient. Of Turkish heritage, she grew up in Germany, studying dance at Die Etage, a performing arts school in Berlin, and began her career in German companies before coming to the United States, where she danced with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Her evening-length solo works, pieces for her own company, NY2Dance, and numerous commissions for dance companies throughout the United States have been performed in venues across the globe – in Europe, South America, Asia, and North America.

Her performances have frequently been reviewed in major U.S. publications, such as the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Dance Magazine, and the New York Times, which has described her as “a fierce and supple performer” and “a magician, telling tales and creating worlds with understated images.”

From April 2015 through April 2016, Yatkin and videographer Enki Andrews traveled to 19 countries in four continents to connect to people through dance. Through that Dancing Around The World project, she and local dancers created site-specific performances in public spaces. Yatkin and Andrews also interviewed dancers in each location, collecting stories about why they dance. “We witnessed the power of dance to unite people in very creative and human ways,” she later wrote. “This experience reaffirmed to me how important it is for humans to express themselves physically, emotionally, and mentally through dance.” The documentary film of their year-long journey won the Silver Palm Award at the 2018 Mexico International Film Festival.