nejla yatkin - choreographer, movement designer
Award-winning and critically acclaimed choreographer and dancer, Nejla Yatkin, is a recent Drama Desk Award Nominee and 3Arts Awardee. Nejla hails from Germany, bringing a luminous, transcultural perspective to her creations. Her focus is regularly drawn to the role that memory and history serve in constructing identity, causing and resolving conflict, and transforming cultural tensions into deep, authentic revelations of human connection.
Her recent dances have been inspired by pivotal events in significant places around the world including The Berlin Wall Project, Oasis: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Middle East but Were Afraid To Dance, and Dancing Around the World, a conceptual site-specific artwork that investigates the potency of urban spaces and the people who inhabit them. Dancing Around The World was a year-long project that circumnavigated the globe, traveling to 20 cities and engaging dozens of communities in movement explorations of their urban environment and their complex relationships to it.
Since 2000, Nejla has choreographed solo works inspired by great female choreographers resulting in five evening-length solo works that have toured nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. In addition, she choreographs for her own project-based company, NY2Dance, and has been commissioned by noted companies including the Washington Ballet, River North Dance Chicago, Modern American Dance Company, Dallas Black Dance Theater among many others.
She has been the recipient of four Artist Fellowship Awards for Excellence in Choreography from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and is a three-time recipient of the Creative Performing Arts grant from the University of Maryland. Other awards include the Local Dance Commissioning Project by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and four awards from the National Performance Network.
For her past creations Ms. Yatkin has received five Metro D.C. Dance Awards, including two times for Outstanding Individual Performance, Best Scenic Design, Best Multi-Media Performance, and Best Overall Production. In 2005, she was named as one of Top 25 To Watch by Dance Magazine and was given the award for Outstanding Emerging Artist by the D.C. Mayor’s Arts Award Committee.
A recipient of the 2008 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Award, Nejla was subsequently awarded a 2009 Special Project grant by the Princess Grace Foundation as well a 2015 Princess Grace Works in Process Award as Artist-in- Residence at the Baryshnikov Art Center, New York City.
Since moving to Chicago she has been awarded the 2012 3Arts Award and the Illinois Individual Project grant. Recent awards nominations include a Drama Desk Award and a Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Choreography in a Musical. For more information visit ww.ny2dance.com