Milka Djordjevich

Milka Djordjevich is a choreographer, dancer and teacher based in Los Angeles whose work draws from a variety of compositional strategies to question preconceived notions of what dance should or should not be. Her work has been shown at several venues including REDCAT, Pieter, Machine Project, LAX Festival, LA Dance Platform, Showbox LA/Bootleg Theater and HomeLA (Los Angeles); the Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, the 2010 Whitney Biennial, the American Realness Festival, the Chocolate Factory Theater and Danspace Project (New York); Counterpulse, The Garage and BAMFA (Bay Area); PICA’s TBA: 18 (Portland, OR); Uferstudios and Fabrik Potsdam (Germany); Bitef, Kondenz Festival, Nov.ples Festival (Serbia); Locomotion Festival (Macedonia); Artdanthe (Paris); WUK and Toihaus Theatre (Austria); Solo in Azione Festival (Italy); Gateshead International Festival of Theatre (UK), among others. She has received funding from The Suitcase Fund, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Center for Cultural Innovation, as well as residencies at CAP UCLA/Los Angeles Performance Practice, Fabrik Potsdam, PACT-Zollverein, Workspace Brussels, ARC Pasadena, LMCC Swingspace and Abrons Arts Center. Djordjevich was a 2006-2007 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence, a 2008/2010 danceWEB Europe Scholar and a 2017-2018 Princeton University Hodder Fellow. Djordjevich has twice served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the UC Riverside Dance Department and has taught at UC Irvine, AMDA, CalArts, Pomona College, Movement Research and PICA. Djordjevich received a B.A. from UCLA and an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

Choreographic Fellow | October 3 - 15, 2021

CORPS 2021

Los Angeles-based choreographer Milka Djordjevich worked remotely with MANCC in October 2021, to further her work CORPS, which she previously developed at MANCC during a March 2019 site-visit and May 2019 residency. An evening length work, CORPS examines labor and the feminine body through the lens of regimented movement, and reveals similarities across traditional, militaristic, ritual, athletic, and folk movement forms.

In response to the COVID-19 Delta variant, MANCC staff worked together with Djordjevich to facilitate a distance residency at the Madrid Theatre in Los Angeles, where Djordjevich, performers and a videographer, Justin Streichman, continued to develop and document the work with administrative, logistical, and technological support from the MANCC staff. Djordjevich and collaborators used this residency to prepare the work for its premiere, and to document the work with the help of Streichman and MANCC's Media Specialist. The residency ended in an engagement with the FSU School of Dance’s graduate Theory of Directing and Dance Performance class taught by Gwen Welliver and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s, where Djordjevich lead a workshop detailing the research and movement structure behind CORPS.

Djordjevich is also in the process of creating a handbook, in collaboration with dance artist and writer Dot Armstrong, that serves as a companion to the work. The handbook will include a glossary of movement to allow for transparency around its various origins, as well as primer activities for audience members to engage with the work in other ways. Additionally, Djordjevich’s collaborator conversations will be transcribed for partial inclusion in the handbook. 

This residency was supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. CORPS will premiere November 11 - 13, 2021 at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater REDCAT. Both virtual viewing and in-person options will be available.  Tickets for CORPS will be available here: https://www.redcat.org/event/milka-djordjevich-corps
 

Collaborators in Residence: Marita Abril, Dorothy Dubrule, Ayano Elson, Allie Hankins, Tiara Jackson, Daeun Jung [Performers], Celia Hollander [Composer], Justin Streichman [Videographer], Dot Armstrong [Writer]

Choreographic Fellow | Site Visit March 28 - 31, 2019 // May 6 - 17, 2019

CORPS 2019

Los Angeles-based choreographer Milka Djordjevich returned to MANCC following her March 28-31 site-visit to develop her latest work CORPS, which examines labor and the feminine body through the lens of regimented movement, and reveals similarities across traditional, militaristic, ritual, athletic, and folk movement forms. This residency built upon information gleaned through her site-visit in which she met with Sergeant Major Russell Brown, Senior Marine Instructor of JROTC at Leon High School. She also attended the Springtime Tallahassee Parade, as well as FAMU’s Green and Orange spring football game, which featured performances by The Marching 100 and FAMU Diamond Dancers.

CORPS is an evening-length work for six dancers and explores repetition and conformity in both individual and group formations. Chris Peck, one of Djordjevich’s long-standing collaborators, is in the process of composing an original score for the work inspired by drum corps music, and worked with Djordjevich via Skype during the residency. 

Inspired by the collectivity of large regimented group formations, from ballet to majorette lines, Djordjevich continues to examine how individualism becomes suppressed. Through repetition, she seeks to track how actions evolve and take on new meanings, exposing new perceptions of feminine forms. The work draws out the idiosyncratic and virtuosic potential of minimalistic forms by building complexity through composite patterns that mutate and evolve. The movement language blurs the distinction between codified/uncodified, male/female, ordinary/extraordinary, center/margin, authentic/inauthentic, and binary/non-binary. Over the course of the work, form is destabilized with increasingly complex and difficult movements, blurring the boundaries of perfection and failure. The goal is to reveal the cyclical feminine labor of regimented movement forms and the impossibility of replication and perfection, while illuminating an innate resistance to erasure.

As a continuation of her site-visit research, Djordjevich returned to Leon High School, this time with her collaborators where they all attended the JROTC course led by Sergeant Major Russell Brown and Gunnery Sergeant Anthony Reaves. Alongside students, the dancers learned basic drill commands and movements that they were then able to translate into their work in the studio. During this visit, Djordjevich met high school sophomore, Megan Steele, who is the student leader of the drill team. Djordjevich and Steele later met separately to further discuss the choreographic aspects of drill routines and Steele also attended Djordjevich’s open rehearsal.

Additionally, Djordjevich had the opportunity to meet with Dr. David Plack, Director of Athletic Bands at FSU. During their meeting, they discussed the choreography of marching bands, the theatricality of drum corps, and the ways in which these practices translate into contemporary choreographic practices.

In an effort to see an amplified version of the movement vocabulary, Djordjevich invited a group of seven FSU School of Dance students into rehearsal for a two hour block, during which they learned one of the work’s structures and its accompanying movement vocabulary.

Djordjevich and her collaborators presented the work in progress in the format of an open rehearsal within the School of Dance, followed by discussion.

As part of MANCC’s Embedded Writers Initiative, writer Tim Reid joined Djordjevich and her collaborators. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this initiative is designed to support the re-imagining of dance writing conventions in order to better respond to and engage with a wider range of ever-evolving contemporary forms.

CORPS is set to premiere in Los Angeles in 2020 with additional performances at New York Live Arts in New York City. 

Djordjevich’s site-visit and residency were supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additionally, funds were provided by the Sustainable Arts Foundation, which allowed Djordjevich to bring a collaborator who is a parent artist.


 

  • Milka Djordjevich's <i>CORPS</i> residency
  • Tiara Jackson
  • Laurel Atwell
  • Milka Djordjevich and Daeun Jung
  • devika wickremesinghe
  • <i>CORPS</i> residency
  • Milka Djordjevich, Allie Hankins and Dorothy Dubrule
  • Laurel Atwell and Dorothy Dubrule
  • Milka Djordjevich and Tim Reid, writer in residence
  • <i>CORPS</i> residency
  • <i>CORPS</i> open rehearsal for FSU and Tallahassee community
  • <i>CORPS</i> open rehearsal
  • <i>CORPS</i> open rehearsal
  • <i>CORPS</i> open rehearsal
  • Research with Leon High School JROTC's Gunnery Sergeant Anthony Reaves
  • Leon High School JROTC
  • Leon High School JROTC research
  • Leon High School JROTC research
  • Leon High School JROTC research
  • <i>CORPS</i> rehearsal
  • <i>CORPS</i> rehearsal
  • <i>CORPS</i> rehearsal
  • <i>CORPS</i> residency
  • Djordjevich works with FSU School of Dance students
  • Grad student, Giltrecia Head, during post-rehearsal discussion
  • Milka Djordjevich meets with Dr. David Plack, Director of Athletic Bands at FSU
  • Djordjevich meets with Dr. David Plack
  • Milka Djordjevich site-visit research at Springtime Tallahassee parade
  • Milka Djordjevich site-visit research at Springtime Tallahassee parade
  • Milka Djordjevich site-visit research at Springtime Tallahassee parade
  • Site-visit research to see the FAMU Diamonds
Collaborators in Residence: Laurel Atwell, Dorothy Dubrule, Allie Hankins, Tiara Jackson, Daeun Jung, devika wickremesinghe [Performers], Tim Reid [Writer]

World Premiere

Milka Djordjevich

CORPS
Nov 11 - 13
REDCAT (CA)

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