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Life & Work with Nadya Zeitlin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nadya Zeitlin.

Hi Nadya, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My dance company is called Bautanzt Here, which translates Building Dances Here. We are a site-specific dance theatre based in Atlanta. Company was born out of my desire to bring art to unexpected places and to unexpecting audiences. There was a time when dance and performance art changed my life in the best way possible now, I would like to give the same gift to others.

I founded the company in May of 2020, during times of unpredictability and anxiety. I can confidently say that majority of our rehearsals was held outdoors, and some pieces were performed in masks to keep each other safe. Plus, I spent the majority of 2020 pregnant with my second child, and I had to invent the whole new system to create choreography for myself, which included researching a lot of my own video materials from the past years. I’m happy to say that the team of dancers who worked with me during that time were absolute superstars, and they always had my back.

Today is 2022. We are still anxious and plans still change. But to the date, we were able to present our works at Atlanta Contemporary (during a choreographic residency with Dance Canvas), ELEVATE Atlanta Public Art Festival, 7 Stages, Fall for Fall Dance Festival. We also performed free pop up style performances in Piedmont Park and Colony Square. I must say that I was lucky to have very talented collaborators to create most of these works (Contemporary Art and Architecture Lab among them).

2022 is already pretty busy for us. We’re working to bring new works to life for Art on the Atlanta Beltline Festival and Downtown Atlanta (we just received grant from Arts & Entertainment Atlanta). And I personally can’t wait to step into Stripped Bare arts incubator program at Synchronicity Theatre in February to explore realm of physical theater.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My favorite part is the creative process in the studio. But there’s a lot (A LOT) of organizational work that has to be done, and I’m doing all of it myself: research, promotion, designs, connections and communications, budgeting, costuming. That’s not easy. When you combine all of this with raising two kids and doing home chores, that could be exhausting. Mistakes are inevitable. And there’s always a danger of a burnout. But I’m learning to give myself space for rest and recharge to be able to do what I love with clear mind and active body.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Bautanzt Here is a site-specific dance theatre. Our main intention is to bring art to audiences rather than invite them to usual performance locations. Even I myself sometimes don’t have time or energy to attend a show that looks interesting. But I would appreciate unexpected dance performance on my weekend walk with kids in a park, for example. That would definitely brighten my day. Very often my choreography is born out of visual images that inspire me: paintings, architecture, interesting costumes. Movement language has a lot of geometry: straight lines, clear shapes that interchange one through another. And I also get inspiration from the locations where we plan to perform. I intend to bring new meanings to these spaces, outline their peculiarities and basically have them as collaborators.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I have a photo of me aged 5, holding a paper Christmas tree with decorations that I glued onto it. I remember that I was the only one in my class who had decorations all over the place comparing to organized rows of Christmas balls and garlands by my peers. And I’m still there: not perfect, but trying to find my unique way. Overall, I think I was always interested in creating a buzz inventing games, I loved telling stories and fairy tales to my friends. I loved creating unique Birthday and New Year cards, depicting the person’s interests. I recently watched a video from my graduation, and apparently, I was named a Creative Person of the Class.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Christine Quarte, Arvin Temkar, Alan Kimara Dixon, Cody J. Jacques, Preston Baker.

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