Choreographic Fellow | Site Visit March 28 - 31, 2019 // May 6 - 17, 2019 // 2020 - 2021
Los Angeles-based choreographer Milka Djordjevich returns to MANCC, currently via remote means, 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.
Currently receiving remote support from MANCC in the forms of documentation, research, and logistics, Djordjevich is in the process of creating a handbook that serves as a companion to the work to 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 will engage in conversations with her collaborators that will be transcribed for partial inclusion in the handbook. MANCC looks forward to hosting Djordjevich and collaborators for an in-person residency when it is safe to do so.
Djordjevich’s 2019 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.
As a continuation of her site-visit research, Djordjevich returned to Leon High School in May 2019, 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 was the 2018-2019 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 met with Dr. David Plack, Director of Athletic Bands at FSU.
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 the residency.
CORPS was set to premiere in Los Angeles in 2020 with additional performances at New York Live Arts in New York City, but the premiere has been postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Djordjevich’s 2019 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 into residence in 2019.