Nada Kokotović

director and choreographer president of the jury



Nada Kokotović was born in Croatia, and she studied classical and modern ballet, film and theatre directing and philosophy in Zagreb. Growing up in a culturally diverse, cosmopolitan and artistically experimental Yugoslavia, as a young dancer and choreographer, she was given the opportunity to work with renowned contemporary composers (Bruno Maderna, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Milko Kelemen) and directors. He spent five years at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in the class of Clotilde and Alexandre Sakharoff. She was a member of the HNK Ballet in Zagreb, a member of KASP (Chamber Ensemble of Free Dance, Zagreb). Talented and ambitious, in the late ’70s, she received a two-year IREX and Ford scholarship in the United States, where she worked with George Balanchine at the New York City Ballet. She staged productions off-Broadway as well as at the New York City Opera (Alice Tuly Hall).

After her stay in the USA, she introduced choreodrama into the Yugoslav cultural space as a new theatrical form and has since made more than a hundred productions. Together with Ljubiša Ristić, she founded the multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual theatre project KPGT. They toured Yugoslavia, Mexico, the USA, Australia and Europe. The war in Yugoslavia and the political disintegration of the homeland forced her, as a cosmopolitan by conviction, to abruptly terminate her career in this region. In 1992, Nada Kokotović emigrated to Germany.

Despite the loss of her language, longtime friends and colleagues, her creative power did not wane. As a freelance director and choreographer, she has been realizing her own productions, and together with her artistic and life partner Neđo Osman, they co-founded the TKO Theatre (Theatre Kokotović / Osman) in 1996 in Cologne, where, among other things, they worked on a series of plays “Postwar Dramaturgy” based on the works of Dubravka Ugrešić, Slavenka Drakulić, Biljana Srbljanović, Goran Stefanovski…

So far, Nada Kokotović has done 78 performances in Germany. She has performed and worked in many theatres: State Theatre in Tübingen, Saarland State Theatre in Saarbrücken, Dance Forum in Cologne, Stuttgart State Opera, City Theatre and the Constance Opera, Summer Theatre Überlingen, Mainfranken Theatere Würzburg, Castle Theatre Moers, Komissarzhevskaya Theatre in St. Petersburg (Russia), Theatre in Kaiserslautern, Theater Rigiblick in Zurich (Switzerland), CZKD Belgrade, National Theatre Bitola (North Macedonia), Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka (Croatia)…

Unfortunately, after 2000, grounds for her arrival and professional engagement in Serbia have been sporadic and rare.