We had the good fortune of connecting with Nadya Zeitlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nadya, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Long time ago one of my teachers said: “Art is meant to push a ‘pause’ button on people’s routine life”. These words are still my main inspiration and motivation. I love when my ordinary life is paused by beautiful, inspiring, thought-provoking, and healing works of art, and I feel happy giving such precious gifts to other people as well.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My story is about multitasking totally different activities: ones that give you wings and ones that bring you down and exhaust physically and emotionally. I’m a Dance Designer, Artistic Director, studio facilitator, and a mother of two beautiful girls (5,5 years and 5,5 months). And also a cook, dish washer and organizer, laundry doer, appointments reminder… In May of 2020, I started a site-specific dance theatre called Bautanzt Here. (“Bau” means “build”, and “tanzt” means “dances” in German). We create visually engaging dance pieces with stories, supported by costumes, set design or environment they’re performed in. I am currently working on bringing our performances to places where people least expect them: parks, streets, malls. It took 7 years of hard work, deep research, trials and errors, little joys and painful fails, but 2020 was fruitful: I received my first grant (from the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs), and got into my first residency (by Dance Canvas and Atlanta Contemporary). These opportunities fostered my confidence and gave life to 2 projects that I dearly love. In 2021 I got involved with two art organizations that I dreamed to connect with, after receiving “no” from each of them earlier in my career. I still feel starstruck, honestly. But all of this gives me motivation to move further. After reflecting on these 7 years I came to understanding that the best decision for my creative career was to step out of the performing role: invite professional dancers that I admire, and create with them while observing the “stage” from outside. I do miss performing though. But for thoroughly designed choreographic work observation from the outside is crucial. Another thing that changed my life was accepting the fact that I will never be a perfect housewife. It saved me a lot of mental energy for sure. This doesn’t mean that I don’t care about my family: I love them all to pieces, and try to do all I can to keep them fed and safe. Though house is a mess often times, and food is simple, but I’m accepting it without feeling too much guilt. Sometimes I write a simple email sentence by sentence during several days because it’s hard to find energy or time for this. Or simply because kids demand something every 10 minutes. But I still do it: send newsletters, submit applications, do research for performances, brainstorm ideas with collaborators, organize fun and safe events. I even create dance phrases in my kitchen. It’s a tough path, but I deeply love what I do and people that I connect with. This is my passion. Rehearsals fulfill me with energy, I feel connected to something inexplicable, “magic”. And I love sharing this magic with others. You can learn more about my work here: www.bautanzt.art, www.nadyazeitlin.com, https://www.instagram.com/dance_hub_atl/.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Breakfasts at Waffle House, desserts at Sweet Hut. Amélie’s French Bakery & Café would be a place for coffee with desserts, but unfortunately it’s closed last year due to Covid. I’d take my friend to Decatur Square, Goat Farm, Atlanta Contemporary, High Museum, Midtown (walk via 14th street to Piedmont Park), Waller’s Coffehouse. These places hold memories that are precious for me. Also, they’re perfect to spend time with children. And after sharing numerous stories with exciting details about these places, we’d visit Atlanta’s historical sites. And finally, Rialto Center for Performing Arts, because this spot is very important for Avengers fans (no spoilers, but Fury, Infinity War). Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to dancers who worked with me all of these years, and my family and friends in and out of Atlanta. Those who believe in my vision and support me on my creative path. Special thanks to wonderful people who gave me rides home all these years. I appreciate you.

Website: www.bautanzt.art

Instagram: @bautanzt_here, @dance_hub_atl, @xaotic_dancer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bautanzt-Here-105024867687007

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVs-xXHX5xDPhnsaPPx400g

Image Credits
Cody J. Jacques // Julian Jacques Photography, Dance Canvas Inc., Arvin Temkar, Christine Quarte, Jacqueline Diaz, Nadya Zeitlin, Snap 2 Studios.

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