Ilya Vidrin

Dr. Ilya Vidrin is a choreographer, dramaturg, and research-practitioner situated at the nexus of performing arts, ethics, and interactive media. He has been an artist-in-residence at North Atlantic Ballet, Ballet Des Moines, Jacob's PillowAREA Gallery, the National Parks Service, Harvard ArtLab, The Walnut Hill School, Interlochen Arts Academy, MIT Media Lab, Windhover Center for Performing Arts, Boston Center for the Arts, Le Laboratoire, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), New Museum (NYC), Endicott College Dance Program, and the Harvard Dance Program under Jill Johnson and Francesca Harper. He is the recipient of two Erasmus Fellowships (Bern, Switzerland and Berlin Germany), Laban Conservatoire Dance Research Fellowship (London, UK), Centre for Global Engagement Grant (Sapporo, Japan), Byron Fellowship, Live Arts Boston Grant (2018+2021), and Massachusetts Cultural Council Choreographic Fellowship. As a dancer, he has performed works by Aszure Barton, Crystal Pite, Dwight Rhoden, Jill Johnson, Ohad Naharin, Sidra Bell, and Brian Brooks, among others. Based in Boston,  he is the founder and director of the Partnering Lab

Born into a refugee family, Ilya grew up navigating the nuances of cultural expectations, language barriers, and diverging political ideologies. Ilya's experience of code-switching fuels his research and artistic practice to interrogate ethical dimensions of human interaction, including the embodiment of empathy, cultural competence, and social responsibility. As an educator, his teaching philosophy centers on ethics of care. Currently, Ilya is working on OtherWise, an evening-length dance theatre production supported by the Mass Cultural Council, Boston Foundation, and Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

Drawn to the arts, he 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 social partner dancing, Latin/Ballroom, Jewish folk, 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. He has worked with Lorraine Chapman, Jim Viera, Vibeke Toft, Wendy Whelan, and members of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Berlin Staatsballett, Boston Ballet, Erick Hawkins Company. In recent years, Ilya has collaborated with a diverse range of creative professionals across media, including award-winning Japanese Butoh dancers Mutsumi Neiro, designer Çaca Yvaire, violinist Daniel Kurganov, singer-songwriter Alec Hutson, and New York-based choreographers Brian Brooks,  Raja Feather Kelly, and Valeria Solomonoff.

Alongside his artistic practice, Ilya pursued undergraduate studies in Cognitive Neuroscience and Rhetorical Theory at Northeastern University. He completed three years of intensive clinical research training in the Neurology Department at Beth Israel Medical Deaconess Center, where he focused 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. At Harvard, he worked on experimental research projects investigating cognitive models of creative practice and empathy, including biofeedback technology, Therapeutically Active Digital Medicine, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and Somatic Enrichment. Focusing deeper on ethics in creative practice, Ilya completed a practice-based PhD funded by the Centre for Dance Research in the United Kingdom under Sarah Whatley, Scott Delahunta, and Sara Reed. He is an Associate of the Signet Society for the Arts at Harvard, and a professional member of the Dance Studies Association and Association for Moral Education, among others. Ilya is the founder and director of the Reciprocity Collaborative.