Ilya Vidrin, PhD

Lab Director

Born into a refugee family, Ilya's work engages directly with the complex ethics of human interaction, including the practice of empathy, attunement, and social responsibility. He pursued undergraduate studies in Cognitive Neuroscience and Rhetorical Theory at Northeastern University, before joining the Neurology Department at Beth Israel Medical Deaconess Center as a Clinical Research Student. For three years, he worked on non-pharmacological therapies for cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. He went on to graduate school at Harvard University, earning a Master’s Degree with a focus on Human Development and Psychology, and a Practice-Based PhD from the Centre for Dance Research in the United Kingdom. 

Ilya's passion for listening and empathy stems from his background in music and dance. He began his formal music training on piano at the age of 5, and formal dance training at the Boston Ballet School at the age of nine. He has invested time in the study of musicology and choreology, and holds teaching certifications in experiential anatomy based on proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation with Irene Dowd, Mat Pilates, and Restorative (Yin) Yoga.

A multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and researcher, Ilya has collaborated with a diverse range of creative professionals across media. In recent years, Ilya's work has led to creative research with The Royal Swedish Ballet, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, The Cambrians, the MIT Media Lab, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, as well as dance artists including William Forsythe, Brian Brooks, and Wendy Whelan. He is an Associate of the Signet Society for the Arts at Harvard, and is a recipient of an Erasmus Fellowship, Derek Bok Fellowship in Media, Visualization, and Literacy, (Harvard University), Live Arts Boston Grant, and the Byron Fellowship, and has been artist-in-residence at AREA GalleryJacob's Pillow, the National Parks Service, the Harvard ArtLab, The Walnut Hill School, Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)

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