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About Katja Kolcio Ph.D.

Drawing on a background in politics, international relations and sciences, dance scholar Katja Kolcio specializes in the role of physical engagement and creativity in education, research and social politics. Dancing to know, to think, to express ideas and to prioritize thoughts embodies “A unique approach toward dance which is accessible and based on the idea that we think and create through our physical engagement in the world,” she explains in the Wesleyan video Politics in Art and the Power of the Body.

As an example, Kolcio describes team-teaching a biology and choreography class here: “Anytime you are learning or teaching or thinking you are making creative choices. Often we don’t realize that. In this class, and in dance, that becomes an explicit part of the process….you are making choices about how to think, how to prioritize, how to arrange ….it played into how we thought about the science.”

Kolcio's writes about her current work in somatics, art and social change in Ukraine in Somatics and Political Change: The Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine (forthcoming 2016 Contact Quarterly) and in Ukraine, A Utopian Mindset (2014 Huffington Post). 

Katja Kolcio is Associate Professor of Dance, and core faculty member of the College of the Environment at Wesleyan University. She holds a Ph.D. in Somatics from The Ohio State University and Masters degrees in Dance and Political Science from The Ohio State University and the University of Georgia.
Kolcio’s publications include Movable Pillars: Organizing Dance (2010, Wesleyan University Press), which traces the development of dance as scholarly inquiry over the course of the 20th century; Somatics and Political Change: The Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine (forthcoming 2016 Contact Quarterly); Moving Self, Moving Earth: Studying the Environment and Ecology Through Movement and Dance (2010, Accelerated Motion, electronic edition, Wesleyan University Press); Faking It: The Necessary Blind Spots of Understanding (2009, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies), A Somatic Engagement of Technology (2005, International Journal for Performance Art and Digital Media); Branching Out: Oral Histories of the Founding of Six National Dance Organizations (2000, American Dance Guild, nominated for the De La Torre Bueno Prize); and book reviews in e-misferica, Dance Research Journal and the New England Theater Journal.

Kolcio creates choreographic events to engender social and political impact. Katja has received choreographic fellowships from the New York State Council of the Arts and Meet the Composer. Choreography has been presented at Judson Church, The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center - Artists for World Peace Festival, New York University Black Box Theater, St. Marks Church, The Ukrainian Museum of New York, The Bridge for Dance, La Mama Experimental Theatre, the Ukrainian Institute of America, various community gardens throughout NYC, the Honchar Museum (Kyiv, Ukraine), Kyiv Mohyla Academy (Kyiv, Ukraine), Wesleyan, Duke, Antioch, Ohio State, Wittenberg, SUNY Brockport and other colleges around the United States.


Present Associate Professor, Wesleyan University
Present College of the Environment, Wesleyan University
Present Department of Dance, Wesleyan University

Curriculum Vitae

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Books (1)

Articles (3)

Published Reviews (1)