Engaging the often muted voice of the dancer, Milka Djordjevich embarks on an experimental process with collaborator, composer Chris Peck, which invites herself and a trio of dancers, including Kyli Kleven and Jessica Cook, to integrate vocalization, song, and harmony within a tightly woven fabric of choreographic gesture and movement. Djordjevich discusses the visible difficulty of the process within its exposition with choreographer Heather Kravas, noting the productive tensions of the act, en masse, that highlights not a virtuosic or successful performance but an underlying effort of attention, effort, and possible failure.
- Biba Bell
As part of Critical Correspondence's Of Note Elsewhere contingent, this conversation and all quotations were first published by Showbox LA. http://showboxla.org/2014/09/13/heather-kravas-and-milka-djordjevich-on-mass/
"And then the element of the voice is added, which is a way of not being the voiceless dancer, being less anonymous, but somehow still anonymous as we are singing and dancing together; being together as an ensemble and a group. Chris was thinking about vocal equivalents, like a barbershop quartet or the Andrews sisters or girl groups, etc. And in addition there’s this other subtext in the title MASS. It’s not necessarily about religion or church, but there’s liturgical dance where singing and dancing match, that kind of Mickey Mousing; and how experimental dances happen a lot in churches in New York. So that churchy, liturgical thing also incorporates musically into chanting, early music harmonies. It’s a lot of different things at the same time."
"A lot of MASS is about the three of us really being a unit, three parts of a whole. The beginning is less about the singing, but configuring our bodies, isolating body parts, perceiving them differently, the otherness of our bodies together, the material of the body, and how that material and the isolation of body parts turns in to dance. And how that’s what dance is about."
Djordjevich and Peck present the culmination of this sonic, embodied laboratory, MASS, at The Kitchen April 30 - May 2nd.
Take a look at Milka's 2011 interview with Jonathan Burrows, also discussing these questions of music, dance and mistakes. http://www.movementresearch.org/criticalcorrespondence/blog/?p=3989