Expedition – YOUTH STATION
We lift our faces, close our eyes, and let the raindrops fall. Wet and cold points of contact. Lines. The earth smells like roasted walnuts. A raindrop is so small, yet it contains something more, a grain of sand from the Sahara, the scent of Chinese tea, a part of bird droppings, and a thread of dust. Create a dance about this that lasts as long as you want.
DANCE MUSEUM is a participatory performance and installation. Children are invited to enter and explore the spaces created for them by artists, to perform and learn about dance and choreography at the same time.
Audience age 3+
Concept: Kliment Poposki, Elena Risteska and Viktorija Ilioska
Mentor: Dalija Aćin Theleander
Adaptation and performance: Jovana Rakić, Marko Milić, Milena Todorović and Milica Pisić
Dance Museum was created through the collaboration within the Balkan Dance Development Platform – Generator.
I’M UNDER A DROPLET
I’M UNDER A DROPLET is a participatory performance that deals with a biocentric view of a girl’s inner world and the world that surrounds her. The performance contains elements of contemporary dance and an installation in which children, together with the authors, reflect on the interconnection of the world and themselves. How do they affect each other? Are they part of a greater whole? Do they depend on each other or exist separately, each on its own?
Audience age 8+
Concept and performance: Jovana Rakić, Marko Milić, Milena Todorović and Milica Pisić/Jana Milenković
Text: Jovana Rakić, Marko Milić
Text read by: Nađa Petrović
Sound design: Bojan Palikuća
Set design: Authorial team and Željka Jakovljević
I’M UNDER A DROPLET – BOOK
The book appeared as a continuation of work on the text of the performance I’M UNDER A DROPLET. It is intended for children over 10 years old and is accompanied by suggestions for movement and creation of a mini installation that can be made using the booklet thanks to its specific form
Audience age 10+
UNDER THE SURFACE / dance project with children and for children
UNDER THE SURFACE – dance project with children and for children concluded with a dance performance Under the Surface. The work is based on the principles of responsibility and mutual support through collaborative creative work. We considered the complex life of plants, their development, the quality of movement, how they overcome obstacles and cooperate. The idea was to show the visible and invisible life of plants, which encourages us to move.
Audience age 8+
Concept: Marko Milić and Milena Todorović
Performers: Olga Gavranović, Milica Salopek, Hana Tošić, Jovana Dubljanin, Sofija Salopek, Anja Radojičić, Jovana Stojković, Una Obućina (students of the second and fourth grade of primary school)
Public relations: Milena Todorović
Music: Digital Tsunami 091 – Kӣr Live
Costume: Mirjana Bajrić
Support Daycare Center Naša Bajka
UNDER THE SECOND SURFACE / a children’s performing arts project
UNDER THE SECOND SURFACE – a children’s performing arts project realized with the institutional support of the Škograd association and the Vlada Obradović Kameni Primary School. Under the Second Surface brings the art of contemporary dance closer to children who are often unable to be part of the artistic process through process and participation.
Authors and implementers Milena Todorović and Marko Milić
Educational program TEEN GENERATOR conveys knowledge about the development of dance during the 20th and early 21st centuries through discussion and workshops. The program offers young people the opportunity to learn about dance as a dynamic and complex art form that was in constant dialogue with various social, political, and artistic phenomena during the twentieth century. The program is based on materials obtained from the Toulouse Choreographic Center (France) and valuable experiences of youth dance education in France.
Audience age 12+
Implementers Marko Milić, Jovana Rakić, Milena Todorović, Milica Pisić
The program was realized in Belgrade, Kikinda, Novi Sad, Bela Palanka, Kragujevac. The program was created at the Toulouse Choreographic Center, and is supported here by the French Institute.
The aim of the MALI BALI endeavor is to explore play as a fundamental children’s need and use its principles to create dance and/or choreography. The program was created in collaboration with the organization Tri groša which implements the “Mali pozorišni eksperti” program – a program for the development of children’s theater audience that has been in existence since 2016 and is led by director Ana Pinter.
THREE MOTHERS AND TWO IDENTICAL PAJAMAS
HOW TO MAKE BAKED FISH RUN AWAY
PASS ME A FORK
WHEN YOU GO
BLEND at the Mediterranean Dance Center!
Apart from the song, a new brilliant, tangled, soft wealth has emerged, sometimes as black as the curtain children hid behind (shhh – don’t touch the curtain!)
In a few words, it is:
building collaboration, group dynamics, and what it all implies: developing listening skills, support, listening, recognizing needs, mutual understanding… constantly balancing the need for play (individual or group) and suggested ideas/desires
What is the difference between naturally prompted play in children and “imposed/suggested ideas” by adults?
BLEND arose from the personal need of artists to share their dance and creative space with each other and with their children, but it soon developed into a desire to create a space where participants of different generations primarily, starting from the body and movement, exchange through choreographic research, and then through other arts. BLEND is designed as a place of exploration, a laboratory of togetherness for children and adults.
Thank you to Kosta (8), Gea (7), Todor (5), Srna (4), Neu (4).
Project realized in collaboration with and support of Mediterranean Dance Centre, Shooma and Pokretnica collective.
TRAINING – GENERATOR
Education for professionals whose work is dedicated to children and youth
Training for the development of creative movement and dance GENERATOR
The training is intended for preschool teachers, teachers, pedagogues, and educators. The program offers various means for pedagogical work and communication that come from the broader field of dance and performing arts. The goal is for educators to develop skills for recognizing and encouraging independent creative and exploratory processes in children. After completing the training, participants are educated for a new approach to activities related to dance and theater, and encouraged to use dance in relation to and in the service of other activities, as well as to create conditions for children to engage with space, body, rhythm, and music. This initiates the introduction of contemporary dance as a means to support the processes of children’s development and education, and thus supports the development of free, aware, tolerant, and curious individuals.
The training is authored by choreographer and dance educator Jovana Rakić.
Realized by choreographers and dance educators Milena Todorović, Igor Koruga, and Jovana Rakić.
The program is accredited (2017-2019 and 2019-2021) by the Institute for the Advancement of Education of the Republic of Serbia.
ACCESS TO DANCE
DANCE is movement. It happens in the body and outside of it, it can exist without visible movements. DANCE is a personal matter because everyone can perceive a certain way of movement as dance… or maybe not
Contemporary dance performances can appear unclear and non-dance-like. This is how it appears if the viewer comes to watch it with a previous idea from the experience of a certain type of dance and what it could be, as well as with the anticipation of a certain experience that dance will evoke. If in their environment, someone rarely has the opportunity to encounter contemporary dance – their knowledge and experience of such dance are formed based on previous experiences with dance performances that they had the opportunity to experience. So, the viewer can be educated only if they have the opportunity to experience such artistic work somewhere.
Choreography, if we want, we can notice on the street, in the way the traffic lights are arranged, in the way people move through public transport, in typing this text on the computer keyboard, in observing conversations in society, in a basketball game, or as a framed work in a performance space.
Some dances are beautiful Some dance is beautiful Dance is not necessarily beautiful Dance is necessary in itself.
What is contemporary dance in Serbia?
Participation, communication, conversation,
respect for diversity – in ability, skill, experience, knowledge;
waiting, trust, not having to, responsibility, solidarity
Several absolute truths learned through the processes we have been through:
Plants dance to grow, moving deeper into the ground and upwards towards the sun.
Painters often dance to paint, some so persistently that they have developed a stylistic direction (known as action painting).
Birds dance when courting each other, spreading their wings and tails and hopping around each other, and then we capture them and paint, creating dances inspired by their movements (such as the Cendrawasih dance from Bali).
All of them move by agreement, intuition, or inspiration, without anyone showing them how to do it. Children don’t need to be shown how to dance, but rather, they need to be listened to, encouraged, and engaged in dancing with them. The rest is easy.
The basic principle of our work involves active participation of children, which means we avoid imposing any form that children would adopt and try to replicate. We want to emphasize the importance of work in which children arrive at their independent solutions, which often means they collaborate in pairs or groups.
Content for children in the context of contemporary arts is not as widespread here, and even when it is, it often fails to question the contemporary aspect. Therefore, it is important to develop approaches in which children discover what art can be today and the freedom they have within that. Through such abstract thinking, they develop tolerance for ambiguity and for combining different media to later produce something entirely new, where they feel free to take the initiative and begin their own exploration of the field for the first time.
TEAM / THE CREW
A group of artists interested in working for a young audience, gathered around the organization Stanica servis za savremeni ples (Station Service for Contemporary Dance) in 2014 began their artistic work with children and young people to bring contemporary dance art to various age groups. For a start, we have initiated the Generator project (initiated by Dalia Aćin Thelander and Marijana Cvetković). So far we have carried out a series of activities, such as educational programs for children and professionals working with children, as well as artistic participatory productions.
Milica Pisić completed the ballet school, specializing in Contemporary Dance, and prior to that, she graduated in Graphic Design at the School of Design. From 2009 to 2014, she was engaged with the Bitef Dance Company, collaborating with both domestic and international choreographers as a performer. She received the “Smiljana Mandukic” award for the best dancer in the field of contemporary dance for the year 2013.
Simultaneously with her work in the company, she expanded her interests to projects focused on creating for children and working with them in the context of performing arts and contemporary dance. This involved working as a performer in productions and collaborating in workshop leadership. She has had a long-standing collaboration as a guest performer with the children’s theater Dusko Radovic in productions such as Oliver Twist, Some Very Important Things, Book of Wanderings, and Upside Down. She received the annual award from the small theater Duško Radović for her role in Oliver Twist.
As a performer, she participated in festivals both nationally and internationally, including Bitef, Infant, Condens, Bora Bora Festival in Denmark, KIJIMUNA FEST in Okinawa, Japan, Assi Fest in Seoul, Korea, EX –YU Festival in New York, USA, among others.
She worked on choreography and stage movement for dramatic productions such as Equus, Ibsen’s Ghosts at the Belgrade Drama Theatre, and at the Kraljevo National Theatre.
Milica teaches contemporary dance at the high ballet school in Pančevo.
Marko Milić (1981) works in the field of contemporary performing arts and multimedia, primarily as an author or performer in the field of contemporary dance. From 1995 to 2003, he participated in workshops for young people at the Center for Culture Stari Grad and was part of educational programs led by the Association of Independent Theaters (ANET) in Belgrade. Marko Milić is the author and co-author of several works, among which the most significant are Series, KOREOEROTICON, BINEMA, and LUMI. He has performed at festivals such as ImPulsTanz, Vienna/Austria; TanzImAugust, Berlin/Germany; Perforations, Dubrovnik/Croatia; FIDCU, Montevideo/Uruguay; Kampnagel – Treffen Total, Hamburg/Germany; Condens, Belgrade/Serbia; Il faut brûler pour briller, Luxembourg; GNARL Festival, Lincoln/Great Britain, CoFestival, Ljubljana/Slovenia, and others. Marko Milić is one of the founders of Station – a contemporary dance service that promotes contemporary dance and performing arts in Serbia and the region. He is part of the team at the Museum of Dance, where he works on creating participatory dance performances and installations for children, as well as educational lectures for young audiences on the subject of contemporary dance.
Jovana Rakić completed her master’s studies at the Academy of Music and Dance (Cologne, Germany), department – Dissemination of dance in the contemporary context. She previously graduated from the Department of Ethnology and Anthropology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. She is the winner of Dance Web (2011), Nomad Dance Academy (2010) and Enparts Open Campus (2011) scholarships dedicated to contemporary dance and contemporary performing practices.
Since 2014, she has devoted herself to work on projects whose focus is creation for children and work with children in the context of performing arts and contemporary dance. She is one of the initiators of the Dance Museum and Teen Generator projects in Serbia – education in the field of dance for children who rarely or never have the opportunity to encounter dance and theater in their places. She worked as a member of the creative team (the Generator project produced by the Station Service for Contemporary Dance) and the author of programs in the education of preschool children in the field of art (the Kaleidoscope Center for Interactive Pedagogy, and Training for Creative Dance and Movement, a project by Station Service for Contemporary Dance). She is an associate of the Novi Sad Children’s Cultural Center, where, together with colleagues Mia Inić and Željka Jakovljević, she leads the section of contemporary dance for primary school age. She is a member of the executive board of ASSITEJ Serbia (2019-2023) and one of the program editors of the Assitej Artistic Gathering conference TURNING POINT 2023.
Her dance-documentary performance for young audience Species, which was created to empower and support young female artists in the field of contemporary dance, received the Special Award for Innovation in Contemporary Dance given by Association of Ballet Artists of Serbia, awarded for the 2015/2016 season.
She is the author and co-author of numerous dance performances, among which are: children’s performances I’m Under a Droplet (2020), Museum of Dance (2018), Igranka (2017), Temporaries (2013), Concerto for three bodies (2011). Her 2017 dance performance Scrape was included in the works shown at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial.
As an author and performer, she participated in festivals including Bitef (Belgrade), Bitef Polyphony, Infant (Novi Sad), ImpulsTanz (Vienna), Theater Scene (Cologne), Kondenz (Belgrade), Pleskavica (Ljubljana), Platform of Young Choreographers (Zagreb), Locomotion (Skopje), Off Frame (Belgrade), FIAT (Podgorica), Testbad shaking Body (London), etc.
Jovana collaborates closely with artists of the independent scene in Novi Sad and Belgrade, she is a member of the organizations: Group “Let’s” and Station Servis for contemporary dance in Belgrade, as well as informal female collective Pokretnica in Novi Sad.
Milena Todorović (1988, LinkedIn) completed her MA studies at the University of Arts in Belgrade, UNESCO Interdisciplinary master program Cultural Policy and Management (2012). She is a member of the representative association of the Association of Ballet Artists of Serbia, in which she had the status of an independent artist until August 2021.
Since 2014, as a project coordinator and author, she is active in the representative association in culture Service Station for Contemporary Dance, and she is co-author of the following projects that were all supported by the Ministry of Culture: Mali Bali (2022) participative dance workshops for children aged 6-11 years; I’m Under the Droplet (2020) participatory dance performance for children; Under the Second Surface (2019) – participatory dance workshops for children with less opportunities; Under the Surface (2018) – a contemporary dance performance and project designed to bring the art of dance closer to children through educational workshops and participatory practices; Dance Museum (2018), participatory dance installation for children and education lectures for youngsters that are based on contemporary dance.
Together with Jovana Rakić, the author of the program, Milena organized and delivered educative program Creative Dance and Movement, dedicated for kindergarten teachers and all the stakeholders interested in participatory dance techniques and methodologies when working with pre-school children. Program is produced by Station Service for Contemporary Dance and accredited by the Institute for the improvement of education and training of Republic of Serbia.
As a president of the Association of Jazz and Modern Dance-Dance Buzz, Milena has been working as a dance pedagogue with children and young people since 2013, while using methodologies such as drama, music and dance. The association is active within the ERASMUS+ program and has so far implemented three projects: MINDformance (2022), Youth Center Fløjen, Denmark; Power to Act (2019), Organization Association for the Development of Art, Culture and Education, Croatia; The Core of Leadership (2018), Organization Symbiosis Gemeinschaft, Liechtenstein.
Milena is a Youth Worker and Trainer in the field of performing arts and non-formal education, tools4socialdevelopment.tikisolutions.rs. In 2018 Milena designed a Manual Tools for Social Development as a tool kit for youth workers as well as everyone interested and willing to start working, facilitating or participating in the artistic processes with mixed ability groups (available at salto-youth.net/tools/toolbox/tool/manual-tools-for-social-development.2220). Project was co-funded by the Erasmus+ program and implemented by organization People to People Serbia.
For five years Milena has been a dancer in the professional dance ensemble Una Saga Serbica in Belgrade.
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