34-year old Nikolina Nikoleski was born in Zagreb, Croatia, learned contemporary dance in Germany at the prestigious dance academy of Pina Bausch – (Folkwang Hochschule Essen) - and spent six years in India learning Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance form. Her Guru is the highly regarded Padmashree Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan.
With an experience of over 3 decades in dance and after training more than 7000 students over the past 9 years, Nikolina presently runs a dance academy - Nikolina Nikoleski Dance Company - and is a dance professor at the French Embassy School - Lycee Francais de Delhi and Head of the Performing Arts Department of Father Agnel School, New Delhi. Her dance academy was established in August 2012 and imparts training in Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Bharatanatyam, Pilates, Yoga and Social Dancing.
Background and Training
Since early childhood, Nikolina studied rhythmic gymnastics, classical ballet, contemporary dance and yoga. She graduated from Laban’s High School for Dance and Rhytmics in Zagreb, continued dance studies at Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, Austria specializing in Cunningham and Limon dance techniques. She graduated in Dance Studies from the world famous Folkwang Hochschule Essen in Germany-Dance Academy of legends like Pina Bausch, Susanne Linke and Kurt Joos. She graduated in Bharatanatyam at Ganesa Natyalaya Dance Institute New Delhi under the tutelage of Padmashree Guru Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan (Tanjavur style). Nikolina has been awarded many prestigious scholarships, such as the Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ scholarship for Bharatanatyam and two scholarships for contemporary dance at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen, Germany.
Nikolina has worked with many famous choreographers: Juan Kruz Esnaola de Silva (DV8 London, Sasha Waltz Company, Berlin), Bob Wilson, Frey Faust, Malou Airoudo, Dominique Mercy, Lutz Forster (Pina Bausch), Mia Lawrence, Ben Riepe, Susan Quinn (Merce Cunningham), Bernard Baumgarten, Kuo Chu-Wu, Rick Merill (Jose Limmon), Saroja and Rama Vaidyanathan (Bharatanatyam) and many more.
Nikolina's art led her to perform widely in India and abroad: as a contemporary dancer in Avignon Festival, Paris, Vienna, Casablanca, Canary Islands, Luxembourg, Croatia, etc. and as a Bharatanatyam dancer at great Indian Classical Dance Festivals such as Taj Mahal, Khajuraho, Mahabalipuram, Kurukshetra, Uday Shankar Festival Jaipur, Ganga Mahotsav Varanasi, Ananya, Chennai December Season, Ahmedabad, Delhi International Arts Festival, Sacred Arts Festival and many more. Nikolina regularly performs in various international TV shows: Indian TV Doordarsan – “Nritya Sangam” show, “Journey through the arts”, Croatian TV- “IN magazine”, “Red Carpet”, “Zivot uzivo”, etc. and was also presented in documentary movies - “Asian postcards-Greeting from Delhi” by R. Sredic, “Bharatanatyam” by Sangeet Natak Akademi India, “Journey through the Art” by Doordarshan TV, “Bharatanatyam classes” by Indira Gandhi National Open University New Delhi and “Life of Padmashree Guru Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan”.
Regardless of our age or whether we pursue it as a calling or a hobby, dance affects us all, is within us all. It is the joy of letting go of oneself in harmony with the universe; it is the sensation of exploring one's limitations and overcoming them.