Emily Coates is a lecturer in Theater Studies. She has directed the dance studies curriculum at Yale since its inception in 2006. In 1992, she received the School of American Ballet's Wein Award for Outstanding Promise, and joined New York City Ballet. She has performed with NYCB (1992 - 1998), Mikhail Baryshnikov (1998 - 2002), Twyla Tharp (2001 - 2003), and Yvonne Rainer (2006 - present). Career highlights include three duets with Baryshnikov: Mark Morris’The Argument, in Karole Armitage’s The Last Lap, and Erick Hawkins’ Early Floating; Lucinda Childs’ solo Carnation; principal roles in the ballets of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Angelin Preljocaj, and Twyla Tharp; Christopher Janney's Heartbeat; and Yvonne Rainer's 21st century creations. She was among the last generation of dancers to work with Robbins, on West Side Story Suite, Les Noces, 2 & 3 Part Inventions, and his final ballet Brandenburg. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English ’06 and holds an M.A. in American Studies from Yale ’11.
Her research interests include the evolution of postmodern dance, intercultural and interdisciplinary collaboration, and contemporary dance in Africa. Commissions range from Empty Is Also, for Performa (with Tamar Ettun), to Où Que Nous Soyons for Ballet Memphis (with Lacina Coulibaly). She developed the duet Ici Ou Ailleurs with Coulibaly, performed at Cornell, Harvard, St. Mark's Church, and The Big Room. At Yale, she choreographed for Il ritorno d'Ulisses in patria, directed by Toni Dorfman, and co-directed MIND with Bronwen MacArthur 2006 - 2009. She has received support from the Baryshnikov Arts Center, where she was a Martha Duffy Memorial Fellow, Duo Multicultural Arts, Jacob's Pillow, and the Greater New Haven Arts Council's Reintegrate grant. Her essays have appeared in Theater, PAJ,and Theater Topics. With Joseph Roach, she co-edited Theater’s 2010 issue on postglobal dance. Between 2006 and 2012, she served as the artistic director of Professor Roach's World Performance Project at Yale.
Her current projects include "Discovering the Higgs through Physics, Dance, and Photography," undertaken with Sarah Demers (physics) and Kike Calvo (photography), funded by the Greater New Haven Arts Council. She co-teaches PHYS 115/THST 115 The Physics of Dance with Demers, with whom she is co-authoring an interdisciplinary course book on physics and dance, forthcoming from Yale University Press.