nicola van straaten

  • trained dancer and performer (ballet/contemporary/theatre)
  • workshop facilitation
  • choreography and dramaturgy
  • film editing (final cut pro)
  • writing (journalistic/academic/opinion)
  • text editing (native english speaking proof-reading/copy editing)
  • transcribing (english texts only)
  • layout design (adobe)

familiar with: ms word, ms excel, adobe photoshop, wordpress, social media management.


nicola van straaten

i am an artist who works across multiple mediums, with a focus on the body and spirituality as sites of political and social transformation. i see ritual, play and performance as a holy and dynamic triangle where meaning can be made and consciousness can be transformed.

i was born in durban, in 1990. growing up in the white suburbs of post-apartheid south africa, my childhood-world revolved around intense ballet training and the christian religion. with time, over a series of rejections, ruptures and schisms, i now find myself creating from the foundations of an embodied and spiritual practice in order to address, re-frame and integrate my colonial settler lineage with a new way of existing in the world.

my work revolves around cultivating sustainable anti-colonial ways of existence. through the practice of writing, performing, dancing, ritual-making, listening, breathing, playing, loving and doing – i hope to enable meaningful transformation within the self and the collective. i am also interested in finding effective ways for the descendants of colonizers to joyously and humbly contribute to the dismantling of white supremacy and eurocentric structures, whilst addressing our collective psychic traumas of enacting global violences such as colonization, apartheid and genocide.

it’s difficult to explain my “artistic practice” as something that is separate from who i am and how i live – because i see them as entirely entangled. but here are some keywords that may help locate the kinds of things i do / make / research / work with:

embodiment – dance – song – ritual – performance – play – storytelling – storywriting – decoloniality – ancestral work – archives – longterm slowmaking art – experiments – friendship – magic.

for the astrologically inclined, i am an aquarius sun and moon, taurus rising, and capricorn almost everything else. i use the ‘she’ pronoun.

if you have questions or want to talk/work/think with me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at nicola.van.straaten(at)gmail.com. 

All rights reserved. Nicola van Straaten 2020 | Website designed and built by Julia de Rosenwerth.