Nejla Y. Yatkin is a 2012 3Arts Awardee, a 2011 National Performance Network Creation Fund recipient, a 2008 Princess Grace Choreography Fellow (awarded by the Princess Grace Foundation in New York City) and an Artist in Residence at the University of Notre Dame. In her choreography, she explores the beauty as well as complexity of memory, migration, transformation, identity and multiculturalism through movement.
This is achieved by drawing upon diverse traditions of dance, cultures and mediums, as well as utilizing subjects that are at once universal and timeless. After dancing with several companies in Germany and the USA for over 10 years, Yatkin began choreographing solo works for herself and other dancers inspired by early works of Martha Graham, Mary Wigman, Susanne Linke and other great female solo choreographers. After 10 years of solo dance and choreography, she then moved to create larger works on other bodies and companies. To date, she has performed in 25 countries and 80 cities around the world and has choreographed the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, the Washington Ballet, The Maryland Dance Ensemble, River North Chicago, and the Baltimore Ballet.
A recipient of many awards and honors, Yatkin has received the DC Mayors Arts Award for Outstanding Emerging Artist, six Metro DC Dance Awards, a 2008 Princess Grace Choreography Award, a 2009 Princess Grace Special Project Award, and four Artist Fellowship Awards from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for her excellence in Dance and Choreography. In 2005 she was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 To Watch.” Yatkin has been supported by the National Performance Network, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (an agency of the National Endowment for the Arts), the German Embassy, The American Embassy, University of Maryland, the Goethe Institute NY, US International Artists, University of Notre Dame, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Princess Grace Foundation, the Historical Dance Foundation, the Turkish Cultural Foundation, the American Turkish Society in NYC and the Illinois Council for the Arts.