Born into a refugee family, Ilya's work engages directly with ethics of human interaction, including practices of empathy, cultural competence, and social responsibility. A multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and researcher, Ilya has collaborated with a diverse range of creative professionals across media, including award-winning Butoh dancers Mutsumi Neiro, Belarussian violinist Daniel Kurganov, Argentinian choreographer Valeria Solomonoff, neuroscientists at Harvard Medical School, and creative technologists at the Yale Department of Physics. Ilya currently teaches at Harvard University, working with students in the Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative and the Harvard Dance Program.
In recent years, Ilya's work has led to creative research with The Royal Swedish Ballet, Berlin Staatsballett, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, The Cambrians, the MIT Media Lab, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, as well as dance artists including William Forsythe, Brian Brooks, and Wendy Whelan. He is an Associate of the Signet Society for the Arts at Harvard, and is a professional member of the Rhetoric Society of America, Association for Moral Education, and the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, among others. He is a recipient of an Erasmus Fellowship, Derek Bok Fellowship in Media, Visualization, and Literacy (Harvard University), Live Arts Boston Grant, and the Byron Fellowship, and has been artist-in-residence at AREA, Jacob's Pillow, the National Parks Service, Harvard ArtLab, The Walnut Hill School, Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston).
Vidrin began his formal dance training at the Boston Ballet School at the age of nine, and has invested time in the study of music (piano&clarinet), as well as Latin/Ballroom, Argentinian Tango, Horton Modern Technique, and contact improvisation. He holds teaching certifications in experiential anatomy based on proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation with Irene Dowd, Mat Pilates, and Restorative Yoga. Ilya is the founder and director of the Partnering Lab and the arts-based nonprofit organization, Reciprocity Collaborative..
Alongside his artistic practice, Vidrin pursued undergraduate studies in Cognitive Neuroscience and Rhetorical Theory at Northeastern University. Through the Cooperative Education Program, Ilya joined the Neurology Department at Beth Israel Medical Deaconess Center as a Clinical Research Student. For three years, he worked on non-pharmacological therapies for cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. He went on to graduate school at Harvard University, earning a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on Human Development and Psychology. He has worked on experimental research projects investigating cognitive models of creative practice and empathy, including biofeedback technology and Therapeutically Active Digital Medicine, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and Somatic Enrichment. He completed a practice-based PhD funded by the Centre for Dance Research in the United Kingdom under Dr. Sarah Whatley and Dr. Scott Delahunta.