Wendy Jehlen


Wendy Jehlen is the artistic director and founder of ANIKAYA Dance Theater. Her career has been marked by international explorations, study and creative collaboration. Her unique approach to choreography incorporates elements of Bharata Natyam, Odissi, Capoeira, Kalaripayattu, West African dance, Butoh, and a wide-range of Contemporary movement forms. Her emotionally powerful choreography has been created and performed in the US, Canada, Italy, India, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Mali and Turkey, with current collaborative projects in Benin, Japan, India, Brazil and Turkey.

Her works include Entangling (2015), a duet with Burkinabe choreographer Lacina Coulibaly inspired by Quantum Entanglement; The Deep (2015), a work for 25 dancers created in São Paulo, Brazil, Lilith (2013), a solo on the first woman; The Knocking Within (2012), an evening-length duet on a disintegrating relationship; Forest (2010), a journey through the archetypal forest; He Who Burns (2006), a trio on the figure of Iblis (Satan); Breathing Space (2003), a collaboration with Japanese choreographer Hikari Baba in Tokyo; Crane (2002), based on images from Japanese Buddhist poetry; and Haaaa (2002), inspired by the experience of childbirth.

Jehlen has received support from the Arts Envoy program (2019), Doris Duke Foundation (2017-2018),Theater Communications Group (2018), the Japan Foundation (2017), The Boston Foundation (2012 Brother Thomas Fellow, 2017), New England Foundation for the Arts (2016, 2017), Network of Ensemble Theaters (2016, 2017), the Embassies of the United States in Benin, Haiti, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Japan and Botswana (2017-2019), the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (2015, 2016), the Boston Center for the Arts Choreographers’ Residency program (2010, 2015), the Artist Fellowship Program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (2003, 2012), the American Institute of Indian Studies (2001, 2013), the Boston Dance Alliance (2013), the National School of Drama (2006, 2011, 2013), the BU Jewish Cultural Endowment (2012),  the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (2011), the Alliance Française de Madras (2006), the Fulbright program (2005-2006), the National Endowment for the Arts(2005), the Tokyo American Center (2002), the Puffin Foundation (2001), and the Ford Foundation/Arts International (1996), among others.