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Dancing Around The World

Dancing Around The World

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Dancing Around the World
is a worldwide performative, virtual, and interactive tour of various cities to explore the ways in which people interact with each other and move and mingle within a spectrum of global environments. During this yearlong endeavor, we will engage, connect, and collaborate with citizens, visitors, centers, sites, and the environment. In this project Nejla and Enki will explore the five themes of geography long discussed in social science literature as well as long realized by observers of societal processes. These include: 1) location, 2) place, 3) human environmental interaction, 4) movement, 5) regions; all viewed through the prisms of dance, video, and online tools.

The project will start in Chicago in 2015 and end in Chicago in 2016.

Background Story: How Dancing Around the World Developed?

In 2007 Nejla Yatkin started creating dances in public spaces because she felt that, as an artist who was interested in freedom of movement and expression, she needed to make her art available to people from all walks of life and not just people who could afford to go to theaters and opera houses. The first project happened in Washington, DC. For several weeks Nejla and her dancers would go to Dupont Circle and dance in front of the public. The reaction of the people walking by was eye opening. During the second week she interviewed people who stopped to view the performances so she could get some insight into their experiences. Some of the people noted that the space had forever been changed for them. By placing dance unexpectedly in a public space, the location itself had been transformed in surprising ways.

Out of that experience many similar projects developed. She has since created dances in public spaces in New York, Berlin, Avignon, Istanbul, Tegucigalpa, Krasnoyarsk, Panama City, San Salvador, and Lima. From these small projects big questions arose: What is freedom of movement? How do we express ourselves in the world and what connects us as humans? Do we create the environment or does the environment create us? What is space? What is a place? How are we connected in a given space to people and what moves us?

Building on these disparate experiences and faceted questions, Dancing Around the World aims to engage and connect the people and cities where Nejla and collaborators will dance, growing the conversation and the questions beyond local borders and with content that is relevant to each site.

Pamela Atkinson
Foster Mickley
Scott Money
Capri and Jason Auch