Nejla Yatkin / NY2Dance opens 2013 Bates Dance Festival with Maine premiere

Dancer-choreographer Nejla Y. Yatkin in her role as Mata Hari. Photograph by Astrid Riecken/The Washington Times.

Dancer-choreographer Nejla Y. Yatkin in her role as Mata Hari. Photograph by Astrid Riecken/The Washington Times.

The acclaimed Nejla Yatkin / NY2Dance opens the 2013 season of the Bates Dance Festival with the Maine premiere of “Oasis,” a piece featuring a score by a Maine composer and based on a tale considered the Middle Eastern forerunner of “Romeo and Juliet.”

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, July 12-13, at Bates College’s air-conditioned Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

For more information, please visit the website.

Tickets are $25 for the general public, $18 for seniors and $12 for students. Tickets may be purchased online; by phone at 207-786-6161 from 1-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; or by mail or in person. Learn more about Bates Dance festival ticketing.

A discussion with the artists immediately follows the July 12-13 performances.

“Oasis” is an evening-length multimedia work based on the allegorical Middle Eastern story of Layla and Majnoon. The piece employs mystical realism to weave a layered story through movement, poetic imagery, shadow play, humor and text. Featuring a score by Maine-based Persian composer Shamou, “Oasis” grapples with issues of veiling, torture and inequality.

NY2Dance artistic director Yatkin has been described by The New York Times as “a magician, telling tales and creating worlds with understated images and movement.” She was born in Turkey and grew up in Berlin, Germany. Her work integrates diverse traditions to explore the beauty and complexity of memory, migration, transformation, identity and multiculturalism.

She has received the New York International Fringe Festival’s Award for Overall Excellence in Choreography in 2012, the Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship in 2008 and five Metro D.C. Dance Awards.

She has created staged and site-specific works for film, theater and opera. Recent commissions include Dallas Black Dance Theatre, The Washington Ballet, Darpana Performing Group in India, Baltimore Ballet, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and River North Dance Chicago.

The Bates Dance Festival, a summer series of renowned contemporary dance, is in its fourth decade as a leading American dance center. The festival is an important laboratory for artists noted for important contributions to the contemporary dance lexicon. In addition to presenting dancemakers who have experienced significant artistic growth through the festival, the BDF continues to welcome emerging choreographers.

More about the Bates Dance Festival

Founded in 1982 at Bates College, the Bates Dance Festival brings together an international community of contemporary choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative community to study, perform and create new work.

The festival serves as an annual destination for artists, students and audiences to engage in a full range of dance activities and performances that foster a creative exchange of ideas, encourage exploration of new ground and afford access to a wide spectrum of dance and movement disciplines.

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