A Dance for a Time Being

8 3Arts supporters
$11,000 raised of $5,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on October 15, 2021
    • 220% contributed

A Dance for a Time Being will explore the aging body and place; revealing the traces we leave behind in the spaces in which we move. I will collaborate with six dancers who are over the age of 60 and residents of six different neighborhoods in Chicago to celebrate not just aging but the breadth of diversity within our city. These artists represent Black, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern, European, and Indigenous identities. They will dance at sites—either indoor or outdoor—that are meaningful to them in their communities. Their solo dances will be developed in public view at the selected sites and documented as short dance-videos that will be accessible via QR codes in the respective locations, becoming a permanent part of Chicago’s public art landscape. Along with my longtime video collaborator, Enki Andrews, we will capture and edit these 5 to 10 minute pieces using video and augmented reality (AR) technology. Finally, the AR tools also will be used to make the dances interactive to users through phone apps.

About This Project

Dancer’s bodies, like trees, accumulate wisdom and knowledge throughout years of training and living—a wealth that is overlooked because dance is popularly seen as an artform of youth. With this project, I intend to make the gains of age visible through the art of movement.

In A Dance for a Time Being, I will begin by interviewing dancers to discuss their aging process as dancers and as people. The conversations will inform the dancers’ movements as well as the sound score. We will work with everyday movements and gestures of walking, running, climbing, rolling, reaching, sliding, touching, and many more. The raw video recordings will be created in public space and then restaged in a studio with a clean and clear background.

The second phase will incorporate augmented reality (AR) technology. Here we want to explore the idea of what we are becoming or how we may imagine ourselves in the future. Using AR tools we will create an alternative reality where dancers will choose an avatar to serve as a double of their imagined self.

Funds raised from this campaign will be used to develop the first two of the six videos. It will pay for dancers’ rehearsal and performance, for video artist capturing and editing, composition, and avatar design. In addition, the funds will support the purchase of signage and permits to display the QR codes of the final dance-films in a public place.

To me, dance has always been a way of connecting with people in order to better understand the world and myself in it. From the beginning of my long career as a movement artist, I have been drawn to the transformational way dance can be employed to create and empower community. For example, since 1985 I have shared dance not just on stage but in public spaces. During my tours, besides dancing in theaters and opera houses, I have danced in prisons, cemeteries, galleries, juvenile detention centers, parks, and city streets. To transform a community, I believe that we need to liberate dance out of the confines of the theater and to bring it into public view in public sites with community. I feel liberating dance liberates us and connects us as a community.

And today, I see that people need spaces to contemplate mortality. I lost my father in 2019 and we have lost so many during the pandemic. I want to be able to support and learn from others who are growing older and facing losses because that is a shared future of growth and legacy.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Thank you shout-out on social media (any amount up to $25) ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Above, plus a personal thank you card signed by Nejla Yatkin ($45.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    Personal thank you card with inspirational poem personalized to the donor ($90.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    Original wire dance sculpture created by Nejla Yatkin and fused with Reiki energy ($125.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    Private guided meditation session with Nejla Yatkin (over Zoom) ($350.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    Private guided Reiki session with Reiki master Nejla Yatkin (over Zoom) ($800.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $2000
    Private Dance or Yoga class with Master teacher Nejla Yatkin (on Zoom) ($1800.00 is tax deductible.)

Nejla Yatkin

Described by the New York Times as "a magician, telling tales and creating worlds" and "a fierce and supple performer," Chicago-based choreographer Nejla Yatkin travels around the globe inspiring empathic connection between people and their environments. She creates solos, choreographs …

View Nejla Yatkin's profile
  • Update 1: Thank you
    Posted on October 16, 2021


    Lous Greenfield

    Dear Friends and supporters,

    thank you so much for your support to A Dance For A Time Being. We have successfully concluded our fundraiser with 3Artsproject and are immensely grateful for all your contribution. I will send out updates as we start developing the work in the coming years and as early diners you will have first access to behind the scenes footage. 
    Again so grateful to all of you. 
    Love and peace,


    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Lucy Phillips

    • Catalina Maria Johnson

    • Scott Lundius

    • James Scruggs

    • Ginger Farley

    • Ginger Lane

    • Gwendolyn Gussman

    • The Jay Pritzker Foundation

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3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council