Nada Kokotović was born in Croatia and studied classical and modern ballet, film and theatre direction, as well as philosophy in Zagreb.
Kokotović was engaged for five summers in the class of Clotilde and Alexander Sacharoff at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena (Italy). She was also a member of the Ballet of the Croatian National Theatre and of the Chamber Ensemble of Free Dance (Komorni ansambl slobodnog plesa/KASP). As a dancer and choreographer, she worked with renowned composers (Bruno Maderna, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Milko Kelemen). In the late 1970s, she received a two-year IREX and Ford scholarship in the USA, where she worked with George Balanchine at the New York City Ballet. She staged productions off-Broadway as well as at the New York City Opera.
After her stay in the United States she introduced the ‘Choreodrama’, a new theatrical form, to former Yugoslavia, putting on more than 100 productions on various stages. With Ljubisa Ristić she founded the multi-ethnic and multilingual theatre project KPGT, touring throughout former Yugoslavia, Mexico, Australia, Europe and the United States. The war in Yugoslavia and the political disintegration of her homeland forced the convinced cosmopolitan to abruptly discontinue her career in this linguistic and cultural area.
In 1992 Nada Kokotović emigrated to Germany, where she worked as a freelance director and choreographer, also putting on her own productions. In 1995 she founded the TKO Theater Köln / Theater Kokotović–Osman together with her artistic partner and life-companion Nedjo Osman.
She has also been, and remains, a guest director at various theatres in Germany, including the Landestheater Tübingen, Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken, Tanzforum Köln, Oper Stuttgart, Stadttheater und Rathausoper Konstanz, Sommer Theater Überlingen, Mainfranken Theater Würzburg, Schlosstheater Moers, Stadttheater Heidelberg, Stadttheater Kaiserslautern – and abroad, such as CZKD Belgrade (Serbia), Wera Kommisarjewskaja St Petersburg (Russia), National Theatre Bitola (Republic of Macedonia), Theatre Rigiblick Zürich (Switzerland) and National Theatre Rijeka (Croatia).