Don't look back

Emily Coates

Emily Coates is a dance artist and writer. She has directed the dance studies curriculum at Yale University since its inception in 2006.

In 1992, she was awarded the School of American Ballet's Wein Award for Outstanding Promise and joined New York City Ballet. She has performed internationally with NYCB (1992 - 1998), Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project (1998 - 2002), Twyla Tharp (2001 - 2003), and Yvonne Rainer (2006 - present). Career highlights include dancing three duets with Baryshnikov, in Mark Morris’ The Argument, Karole Armitage’s The Last Lap, and Erick Hawkins’ Early Floating. Additional highlights range from the repertories of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Angelin Preljocaj, and Twyla Tharp, to Lucinda Childs’ solo Carnation, 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 SuiteLes Noces2 & 3 Part Inventions, and Brandenburg.

Her current work focuses on intercultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. Most recently, she choreographed for Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, with music direction by David Shifrin and stage direction by Liz Diamond, presented by Yale in New York at Carnegie Hall. In collaboration with particle physicist Sarah Demers, she created a science-art video titled "Three Views of the Higgs and Dance," funded by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. She has co-choreographed dances with Lacina Coulibaly for Cornell, Harvard, Movement Research Fall Festival, and Ballet Memphis, and created a new commission for Performa 09 with sculptor Tamar Ettun. She has been an artist-in-residence at Jacob’s Pillow and Baryshnikov Arts Center, where she was a Martha Duffy Memorial Fellow. Her essays have appeared in TheaterPAJ, Theater Topics, and the Huffington Post. With Demers, she is co-writing a book on physics and dance, forthcoming from Yale University Press. 

From 2006 to 2012, she served as the artistic director of Joseph Roach’s World Performance Project at Yale. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA in English and holds an MA in American Studies from Yale.