Maska Journal for contemporary performing arts: VOICE OF DANCE
January to November 2021, Ljubljana (on-line, Maska, NDA Slovenia office), presentation of the Journal at CoFestival
The idea of the issue came on the basis of CoFestival on-line edition 2020 The Amplifiers of Voices, where the curatorial team of CoFestival (Mitja Bravhar, Dragana Alfirević, Rok Vevar, Jasmina Založnik and guest curator Irena Z. Tomazin) after the first lock down due to the pandemic of CARS-CoV-2, decided to create a ground in which voice would be given a voice. As due to epidemic the live-acts and performances could not take place, the team decided to reprogramme their festival and outline those formats and frames that are sustainable also for the on-line streaming. They launched an intensive two-day workshop and invited artists and theorists to give lectures and lead on-line workshop for participants around the globe. The workshop was made with an aim to historically, theoretically and practically dissected the phenomena of choreo-vocalism, speech and choreography, and experimental music composition, which included unusual uses of the voice in the twentieth century, emphasizing dance as the medium in field, in which such practices are blossoming in the last decade. The following lecturers, mentors or speakers led the workshop: Irena Tomažin Zagoričnik, Jasmina Založnik and Rok Vevar, Luka T. Zagoričnik, Jule Flierl and Igor Dobričić, that were invited to participate and rework their lectures or transform them according to their desires and wishes. Next to the mentioned theorists and artists, the editors invited also a few others to respond to the issue with their own methods and ideas. What came out is certainly a rare journal, with range of artistic writing (in the field of dance and beyond it) that gathers, thinks, collects and moves along with the practice is development.
This issue is a certain continuation of the reflection opened by Bojana Kunst’s article titled Glas plešočega telesa (The Voice of the Dancing Body, 2009) published 12 years ago in our sister journal Frakcija. The article is a unique upgrade of Mladen Dolar’s O glasu (Analecta, 2003; published in English as A Voice and Nothing More, MIT Press, 2006) through a specific position of a dancing body. Along with the rapid development of studies on voice that followed the publication of Dolar’s book, the exploration of the voice in choreographic and dance practices began developing, too. Of course, this does not mean that in the past dance had no voice – merely that in recent years, we have seen a specific orientation of certain researchers of contemporary dance towards studying voice and its positioning in the field of dance and choreography.
The texts in this issue explore the ambivalent nature of voice since “to get a voice”, as explained by Kunst, is extremely emancipatory on the one hand, but on the other, the voice speaking from us is always something unfamiliar, something that stands out and destabilizes the image of the subject. The topic of this issue focuses on writings based on practice and, in multiple cases, also on direct experience. The articles prove how heterogenous the approaches are in this field of research and art. With their convincing entries, they offer themselves as an encouragement for further exploration. The “writing voices” are: Urban Belina, Dejan Srhoj, Evelin Bizjak, Rok Vevar and Irena Z. Tomažin, Igor Dobričić, Ana Dubljević, Jonathan Burrows, Elina Pirinen, Guy Cools, Bojana Piškur, Jule Flierl, Luka T. Zagoričnik and Edka Jarząb.
Their editors are: guest editor and member of the CoFestivala curating team Jasmina Založnik, and the two Maska editors Pia Brezavšček and Rok Bozovičar.