• Theatre

Ilya Vidrin

Assistant Professor

Dr. Ilya Vidrin is Assistant Professor of Creative Practice Research and core faculty at the Institute for Experiential Robotics. Born into a refugee family, Ilya’s work engages with and investigates ethics of interaction, including the embodiment of care, trust, cultural competence, and social responsibility. As an interdisciplinary research-practitioner, Ilya’s research draws on concepts and methods in social epistemology, performance philosophy, ethics of care, and cognitive psychology. Ilya has been featured as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” (2022) with close collaborator Jessi Stegall, and has been an artist-in-residence at the BallettxSchwerin (Germany), MIT Media Lab, Harvard ArtLab, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, North Atlantic Ballet, Ballet Des Moines, Jacob’s Pillow, the National Parks Service, The Walnut Hill School, Interlochen Arts Academy, Boston Center for the Arts, Le Laboratoire, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and New Museum (NYC).

Ilya is an alum of Northeastern, where he pursued undergraduate studies in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience. He ​holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Psychology ​from​ Harvard University, and a doctorate in Performing Arts ​from​ Coventry University (United Kingdom). His field research involved working with The Royal Swedish Ballet, Berlin Staatsballett, The Cambrians, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, ​and dance artists including ​Sidra Bell, Aszure Barton, Ohad Naharin, Brian Brooks, Jill Johnson, Wendy Whelan, and William Forsythe.


  • Ph.D. Coventry University
  • Ed.M. Harvard University
  • B.S. Northeastern University


  • Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch"
  • Derek Bok Fellowship (Harvard University)
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council Choreographic Fellowship
  • Live Arts Boston Grantee (Boston Foundation)
  • Byron Fellowship

Courses Taught

  • THTR 1170: Eloquent Presenter
  • THTR 1150: Dance History and Performance
  • THTR 1125: Improvisation
  • INAM 2000: Ethics in Creativity
  • INAM 6200: Topics in Communication Strategies

Research/Publications Highlights

Vidrin, I. and Roberts, S. (forthcoming). “Beyond Verbal: Conceptualizing Energy Expenditure in Physical Interaction”. Frontiers in Robotics and A.I.

Vidrin, I. (forthcoming). “Responsible Knowing in Partnering”. Performance Philosophy.

“Tethered” (2023) – short film collaboration with Raja Feather Kelly, Sue Murad, and Jessi Stegall

Vidrin, I. (2023). “Somatic Partnering”. International Conference on Dance and Somatic Practices; Coventry, United Kingdom. 

Vidrin, I. (2023). “Practicing Joint Action through Attunement”. Mind the Body Conference; Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Vidrin, I. (2023). “Wait/Weight”. Contemporary Ballet Suite, North Atlantic Ballet.

Vidrin, I. (2023). “Conceptualizing Care in Partnering”. Journal of Performance Research.

Vidrin, I. (2023). “Thresholds of Resistance”. Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Blackwood Gallery.

Vidrin, I. (2022). “More or Less”. Residency; New Museum, New York City.

Vidrin, I. (2022). “Considered Care”. Short film collaboration with Boston Ballet artist My’kal Stromile and cinematographer Sue Murad.

Vidrin, I. (2021). “Choreographing the Personal: A Profile of Jessica Roseman”. Boston Art Review.

Vidrin, I. (2021). “OtherWise: A Choreographic Investigation of Intergenerational Trauma Through the Lens of the Soviet Bard Movement”. Dancemakers Lab Residency, Boston Center for the Arts.

Vidrin, I., and Laviers, I. (2021). What Falling Robots Reveal About the Absurdity of Human Trust. Psyche Magazine.

Vidrin, I. (2021). We Need to Distinguish Trust and Care in PartneringDance Magazine.

Vidrin, I. (2020). “Attunement: Or That Which Cannot Be Measured“. Residency; New Museum, New York City.

Laviers, A., and Vidrin, I. (2020). Can a Robot Do a Trust Fall?: Absurdity as a Component of Human Intelligence and Embodiment. Creative Computing.

Vidrin, I. (2020). Embodied Ethics: The Conditions and Norms of Communication in Partnering. In Thinking Touch, Edited by Malaika Sarco-Thomas. Cambridge Scholars Press.

Pettee, M., Shimmin, C., Duhaime, D., & Vidrin, I. (2019). Beyond Imitation: Generative and Variational Choreography via Machine Learning. Computational Creativity. 

Vidrin, I. (2018). Partnering as Rhetoric. In A world of Muscle, Bone & Organs: Research and Scholarship in Dance. Edited by Hetty Blades, Charlotte Waelde and Simon Ellis. Coventry University, pp 112-131.

Professional Affiliations

Signet Society for the Arts at Harvard, Rhetoric Society of America, Association for Moral Education, International Association for Dance and Medicine and Science, American Psychological Association

Research Interests

  • Assistive Robotics
  • Care Ethics & Social Epistemology
  • Dance and Choreographic Practices
  • Ethics & Artificial Intelligence
  • Performance Studies