Conference Of The Birds by Nejla Yatkin performance

Event Type
Event Description

Conference Of The Birds by Nejla Yatkin comes to Gathering Spaces at Burnham Wildlife Corridor 

Award winning choreographer and recent 2018 Drama Desk nominee, Nejla Yatkin, returns home to Chicago, bringing her signature process of building site-specific dances with local participants to Chicago’s Gathering Spaces in Burnham Wildlife Corridor (BWC). German-born choreographer Nejla Yatkin will create a site-specific, promenade-style interactive dance performance that moves the audience along the lakefront from the Caracol Gathering Space to La Ronda Parakata Gathering Space in BWC. Local participants will guide the audience in an interactive and participatory movement practice inspired by bird flocking behavior to transform audience perceptions and engage with their environment in new and unexpected ways. Yatkin invites her audience into a place and time, exposing it, exploring it, penetrating it, and then transcending it through movement. For Conference of the Birds, Yatkin will work with local community members to choreograph a unique movement experience. Yatkin will spend the summer engaging pedestrian and trained dancers alike in dance and movement meditation workshops designed to heighten the senses through observation, heuristic conversation, and dancing. Filmmaker and longtime collaborator, Enki Andrews, will be documenting participants’ experience of transformation throughout the process, revealing what they wish to transform in themselves and in their community. The material developed through these workshops and explorations of the lakefront environment will inform and inspire the final dance as well as a short-form documentary video. Free public performances will be held over three weekends on September 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16, 2018; 5-7pm.

Where: Starting at Caracol Gathering Space and ending at La Ronda Parakata Gathering Space

When: September 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16; 5-7pm

What: Free, interactive site-specific dance performance choreographed by Nejla Yatkin (

Conference Of The Birds by Nejla Y. Yatkin is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series, supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan. Now in its sixth year, the 2018 Night Out in the Parks series will host over 1,000 cultural events and programs at more than 250 neighborhood parks throughout the city, making community parks a safe haven and hubs of activity. Projects will vary from traditional performances and concerts, to movies, peace rallies, community workshops, nature based programs, dance pieces, festivals, and more. The Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 100 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.”

About Nejla Yatkin:

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 theTop 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

About Enki Andrews:

Enki is a Chicago-based multimedia, interactive artist experimenting with physical phenomena to discover how humanity views itself in light of our finite human perceptions and how expanding those reflections enhances our self awareness. An interdisciplinarian since college, he studied Physics and Philosophy at Boston University while pursuing his art. Initially inspired by “technology” artists such as Eadweard Muybridge, Alfred Stieglitz, Chuck Close, and United Visual Artists, Enki began working as a photographer in 2000. In 2010, he started exploring video, time-based photographic progressions, and interactive media arts. His arts pieces have been exhibited at New York Figment, Nuit Blanche New York, and showcased in collaborative, interactive works with Chris Jordan for the Flint Public Art Project and at Monitor Digital Festival. His photography has appeared in the Huffington Post and the Washington City Paper. His film, Dancing Around the World, created with collaborator Nejla Yatkin, was awarded the 2018 Silver Palm Award for Documentary Short Film by the Mexico International Film Festival. For more, check out

Dance Styles
Modern / Contemporary