A Dance Without A Name – Ouroboros
A Dance Without A Name – Ouroboros is an interactive, evening-length theatrical solo dance presented in the round that resurrects and centers the ancient healing symbol of Ouroboros. The piece communicates through personal storytelling, contemporary and Middle Eastern dance, cabaret-style song, live finger cymbal/zill play through English, German, Turkish, and ASL, and audience participation. A Dance Without A Name – Ouroboros takes the audience on a journey of memory, place, current paradoxes, the cyclical and entrapping nature of time and culture, the lost history and continued relevance of embodying nature in the form of the snake dance, embodied feminine wisdom of the past and present, and about society’s relationship to dance and language.
A 2023 Guggenheim Fellow in choreography, NEJLA YATKIN is a globally recognized artist known for her captivating stage performances and empathic connections through movement. Praised by The New York Times for her "magical" storytelling and "fierce and supple" performance style, Nejla travels the globe inspiring and choreographing dances that evoke deep emotions and spark thought-provoking conversations. Throughout her long and complex career, she has explored the beauty and complexity of being human through her choreographic and theatrical interests, constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional dance forms to create innovative and meaningful experiences for her audiences. Nejla's body of work has earned her numerous grants and choreography awards, including 3 awards from the Princess Grace Foundation, the 3Arts Foundation, the Jay Pritzker Foundation, the Turkish Cultural Foundation, the National Performance Network, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Chicago Dancemakers Foundation among others. She has also been commissioned to create work for prestigious venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center Out of Doors in New York and Dance Center Columbia College in Chicago. In addition to her professional work, Nejla is also dedicated to educating and mentoring young artists. She has taught at the university and professional levels, earning tenure as an Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Maryland, College Park (2001-2008) and as an Associate Professor of The Practice at the University of Notre Dame (2008-2012). She has also been a guest artist at institutions such as Bates Dance Festival, Harvard University, Northwestern University, SUNY Purchase, Webster University, and Washington University, among others. Nejla's solo creations, including Wings of Desire, De/Reconstructing Mata Hari, Solo With Bach, What Dreams May Come, and The Other Witch, showcase her multifaceted personal and artistic lineages and have been presented around the globe, receiving numerous awards and accolades such as Dance Magazine's 25 To Watch and Washington Post's Top 10 Dances. Her newest solo project, A Dance Without A Name, is an interactive theatrical solo dance presented in the round that takes the audience on a journey of memory, place, and the cyclical and entrapping nature of time and culture. The solo had a preview performance in June 2022 and was awarded the 2022 DCASE Esteemed Artist Award, the 2022 Sybil Shearer Fellowship Award, the Links Hall Co-Commissioning Fellowship Award, and was a National Dance Project Finalist. The premier of A Dance Without A Name will take place in the spring of 2024.
A Dance Without A Name – Ouroboros is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Art2Action, Inc. in partnership with The Dance Complex, Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA) and NPN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information, visit www.npnweb.org.
by Nejla Yatkin