Adding Fashion To Dance

Adding Fashion To Dance

The River North Dance is dancing it's way into the Fall with their November 16th -17th Engagement at The Harris Theater.   The performance features two world premiere pieces, one a solo work by Nejla Yatkin, that uses a dress with a 30 ft train throughout the entire work. Nejla has a multi-cultural background, she's  from Berlin, Germany and her parents descend from Turkey, so her trademark pieces that she choreographs usually are multi-layered combining many different cultures. It's not surprising that this performance piece was envisioned and created by Nejla.

This dress was designed by an in house designer at The River North Dance and brings something refreshing to the dancing world.

The beautiful gown was made to flow and embody the fluid motion of the dancer, Jessica Wolfrum. Amazingly, Jessica learned all of her dance steps wearing a mock up skirt however the actual one piece gown was not worn until the day of run-throughs in the studio. This will be the first time that Jessica and RNDC have used such a dramatic fashion piece within their dance ensemble.

Jessica states "This is a whole new thing for me and the company, which is really cool to be apart of and has been quite an experience" 

Most women can't even walk down the aisle in a long train without tripping or falling , so it will be eye-catching to see  Jessica dance effortlessly and gracefully.

"It's definitely a technique and it helps to rehearse [dancing in the dress] everyday. It's just like being comfortable in my own skin. The dress, the material is apart of my own skin and if I am not rehearsing or getting comfortable with it we become strangers almost." Jessica states after responding to my questions about performing in the piece flawlessly.

The choreographer, Nejla Yatkin, was not at all concerned with Jessica not being able to dance in the grown

"I think dancers are a little different", she states. " Trained and experienced dancers have worked with so many different elements , stages, costumes, and partners. You have a sense of yourself and your relationship to space, material, and time. So I was not concerned with the dancers, if it was a younger dancer... maybe. She is an experienced dancer and I knew she would be able to form a relationship with the dress." 

You should see how that relationship has cultivated this weekend. If you love fashion and you love dance then reserve your seat at the Harris Theater on November 16 or 17th. Tickets are on-sale now at or by calling 312.334.7777

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