nicola van straaten


artist, researcher, writer and dancer

nicola van straaten


artist, researcher, writer, dancer


Nicola van Straaten is an artist, researcher, writer and dancer. She graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music (Honours Degree) in Dance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She holds a Masters Degree in Solo / Dance / Authorship from the University of the Arts in Berlin (HZT) and is currently based in Berlin. She has performed with Underground Dance Theatre in Cipher (Cape Town, Grahamstown and Bloemfontein) and participated in Fous de Danse by Boris Charmatz (Berlin).

Nicola’s work lies often at the intersection of the body and the archive. She works with text, film, theatre, improvisation and photography. Her areas of research include but are not limited to the potential healing powers of collective dance, developing active decolonial thought and practices in daily and domestic routine and using the body to navigate historical and generational trauma. She is currently re-making her Masters graduation piece i’m haunting you now, which looks at embodied ways to speak to and beyond coloniality for the Antidote Movement Festival in the Netherlands. A paper/film/lecture performance on this work has also been selected to be presented at the South African Visual Arts Historians Conference (2019).

She very lovingly tends an archive of ideas, both good and bad, which can be followed at her Instagram account and you can check out her website here.


Videos of work: 

Genesis 2.7 – Filmed & edited by Nicola van Straaten, with sound by Sebastian Borckenhagen. Screened at The Tanzrauschen International Dance on Screen Festival in Wuppertal (2016), Teatro Martins Gonçalvez, in Salvador, Brazil (2016) and AiM – Africa in Motion at the Dance Base, Edinburgh Scotland (2016)

Rhythm StudyCreated with Coila-Leah Enderstein. Screened at the Collaborations Exhibitions at the National Art Gallery of Namibia (2016) and Joburg Fringe Festival (2016).