Dance till the new dawn Project Presentation
with Bojan Đorđev, Mirjana Dragosavljević, Siniša Ilić, Igor Koruga and Marijana Cvetković
After several phases of research in Belgrade and Skopje (in collaboration with Lokomotiva), the project’s first presentation was organized as part of the Kondenz Festival for contemporary dance and performance in Belgrade. Through an installation that was set in the Ostavinska Gallery from October 25 to 31 and a performative presentation that took place on October 29, the authors dealt with topics such as: who has the right to art? to whom does it belong? who needs it? Focusing on historical moments of dance development and performance that are important in today's struggle against the commodification of art, they questioned today's role and position of dance and historical dance figures as metaphors for a society that continually forms individuals and structures the society.
Bojan Djordjev's research goes in the direction of studying the relations and friction between the terms "people’s", "national", "popular", "populist", "folklore" and "avant-garde" on the examples of communist art of the middle of the 20th century, namely American engaged folk songs, New York leftist choreographers and partisan and revolutionary art of Yugoslavia, especially partisan poetry. In this phase of the work, together with the actor Nikola Voštinić, Đorđev explores the performative potentials of three songs: Arthur Rimbaud’s "Sleeper in the Valley" (1870), its partisan version from Sutjeska "Sleeper" (1943) by Radonja Vešović and the American Beloved Comrade” (1936) by Lewis Allan.
Siniša Ilić's artistic research relies on interpretations of the historical mosaic of Miloš Gvozdenović created in 1969 in the foyer of the Cultural centre in Novi Pazar, which, through narrative figurative sections, panoramically depicts society - which can be understood as a welfare society. Rhythm, presentation and narrative are choreographed and compositionally balanced - they range from ethnographic depictions of customs, struggle, urbanization and modernization, industrial - textile production, sports, culminating in the scene of dance - culture. The research is realized through a series of artistic and spatial / performative interpretations, with the former based on work with drawing, video and stone texture. This segment of the research is part of Siniša Ilić's cooperation with the Centre for Cultural Decontamination. Thank you to the Cultural Center of Novi Pazar.
In her research, Mirjana Dragosavljević uses a combination of text and image, a format that is adapted to the dominant consumption of content through social networks and pop culture, in order to deal with different practices of dance and movement in the context of the Yugoslav revolution.
Igor Koruga focuses his research on the artistic and pedagogical practices of the founders of modern dance, Mage Magazinović and Lujo Davičo during the period between 1930 and 1945 in Serbia and their socio-cultural and political positioning between the nationalist, fascist and socialist ideologies of the time. Artistic research will be shaped through the dramatization of concepts and information from the life and work of Davičo and Magazinović in a short format of TikTok videos, as a current form of digital and online distribution of knowledge.
Through a rehearsal of the women's senior choir whose performance is choreographed by Dušan Murić, Marijana Cvetković offers a magnifying picture of the work of Lujo Davičo, a pre-war choreographer and anti-fascist, author of choreographies of illegal performances by workers' choirs in the pre-war Belgrade. After his heroic death during the Second World War, this engaged work was erased from the memory of the dance scene and the public, even though the first and only Belgrade ballet high school bears his name.
About the research
The thematic framework and the main questions that this research has raised are: who does have the right to art? to whom does it belong? who does it need it?. Not giving up the fight for emancipation means not giving up the idea that art should be accessible and acceptable to everyone, regardless of class, race, gender, etc. The research follows historical moments which have been very important for the struggle against the commodification of art, with a special focus on dance and performing arts. We understand the role and position of dance as a metaphor of a society that always shifts between shaping the individual and structuring an organized society, the whole. For that reason, our research group decided on a format of autonomous units that can modularly fit into a performative installation, performances, exhibition, online formats and printed materials. This collective research takes place through working sessions in which the analysis of the framework is constantly repeated, avoiding inertia, but producing critical thinking.
Bojan Djordjev's research is heading towards studying the relations and friction of the terms "people’s", "national", "popular", "populist", "folklore" and "avant-garde" on the examples of communist art from the middle of the twentieth century, namely American engaged folk songs, New York leftist women choreographers and partisan and revolutionary art of Yugoslavia, especially partisan poetry. It is the People's Liberation Struggle that is seen as a potential place where these terms intersect, that is, art that emerges as an integral part of the anti-fascist struggle. The research will result in a performative itinerary through the theses on similarity and conflict of these terms by performance of three poems: Rimbaud's "Sleeper in the Valley" (1870) and its partisan version from the Sutjeska battle – Vešović’s "Sleeper" (1943) and American "Beloved Comrade" (1944) by Lewis Allen.
In her research, Mirjana Dragosavljević uses the medium of comics, a combination of image and text, a format that is adapted to the dominant consumption of content through social networks and meme culture. The content of the research moves through the history of dance and in the same time through the history of revolutions, two major themes that meet in the historical dance solo of Slovenian dancer Marta Paulin Brina, which she performed for the partisan fighters of the Rab Brigade, immortalized by the iconic photo of Jože Petek in 1943 when we talk about partisan choreography. Another important hero of this comic is George Skrigin, a ballet dancer who photographed people and landscapes of World War II, offering us documentation of war choreography and scenography in which the landscape has a dominant position.
Siniša Ilić's artistic research relies on interpretations of the historical mosaic placed in 1969 in the foyer of the Cultural Center in Novi Pazar (South-West Serbia), through collages, photographs, textile prints or interventions indoors or outdoors. The produced works of art can be exhibited on stage, in a gallery or exterior - similar to the history of the mosaic technique itself - from the ancient mosaics to those in socialist realism style. Whether as a work of art or an intervention in space, it is a translation of a reflection on the dramaturgy of the image that builds the initial mosaic. The author of the original mosaic, Miloš Gvozdenović, using narrative figurative images, depicts the society as a panorama - which can be understood as a society of well-being and social protection - a welfare society. Such a projection of society is what the research deals with in the context of today and its social choreographies, practices, frictions. Rhythm, presentation and narrative are choreographed and compositionally balanced - they range from ethnographic depictions of customs, struggle, urbanization and modernization, industrial - textile production, sports, culminating in the scene of dance i.e. culture. Although the research and reading of this painting, a frieze made in pieces of stone, rely on thinking about the politics and ideology of the time in which it was created and the prism through which we look at it today, what makes its composition special is the emphasis on the physical, ritual, sensual, passionate and elusive, which eludes the analytical view.
Igor Koruga focuses his research on the artistic and pedagogical practices of the founders of modern dance in Serbia, Maga Magazinović and Lujo Davičo, during the period from 1930 to 1945. Examining their work in mediating modern / expressive dance (Ausdrucktanz) of their teachers Mary Wigman, Isidora Duncan and Rudolf Laban, in the local scene, the research also questions the socio-cultural and political positioning of Magazinović and Davičo between the right, nationalist and fascist, on one side, and leftist and communist ideology of the time, on the other side, that is, in terms of dance, between the so-called abstract, modern, concert, bourgeois dance, and, workers', partisan, national liberation, revolutionary dance. By comparative analysis of theoretical discourses and archival material about political positions of modern dance in the contexts of Germany, America and Serbia, the research examines several topics from today's perspective: mechanisms of establishing and transgenerational maintenance of discourses on modern / contemporary dance as a technological tool for shaping of the social body, that have to this day established themselves within the dominant local policies of state cultural institutions; mechanisms of canonization and institutionalization within the world of (dance) art - what we define as (dance) art, who has the right to (dance) art, as well as where the marginal phenomena in the local dance / art genealogy end; the question of revolutionary assassination as a form of artistic practice and cultural-political resistance to the dominant ideological matrices. Artistic research will be shaped through the dramatization of concepts and information from the life and work of Davičo and Magazinović in a short format of TikTok video, as a current form of digital and online distribution of knowledge.
Marijana Cvetković focuses her research on the choreography for the workers’ chorals in the 1930s in Yugoslavia and the role of dance and choreography in the cultural agenda of the communist forces of the time. She will trace the examples of the use of choreographed choral performances that were organized far from the official censorship and that were the medium of resistance against the fachism. The research discovers the work of the communist and anti-fachist artist Lujo Davičo and his work with the workers’ choral in Belgrade and the contemporary perspectives on this work, the hidden histories and different interpretations. It will be further used for the performative situations within the large project.
Dance till the new dawn Project Presentation
15.01.22 - 15.01.22
Dance till the new dawn - Ples do nove zore at Kondenz Festival 2021
23.10.21 - 31.10.21
Creative Crossroads Remote Residency
01.06.21 - 31.08.21