CORPS (premieres 2020)


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. The work is a continuation of Los Angeles-based choreographer Milka Djordjevich’s ongoing questioning of contemporary dance’s preoccupation with neutrality, authenticity and the de-sexualization of the female body. CORPS aims to unravel the history of patriarchal militaristic conditioning of regimented movement and reclaim its manipulation, control and suppression of female bodies. The evening-length dance is developed with an esteemed professional group of six dancers, composer Chris Peck and lighting designer Madeline Best (long standing collaborators), and scenic designer Shannon Scrofano.

Djordjevich works closely with the professional cast whose backgrounds include experience in regimented movement practices and also share an experimental dance practice. Together, they are engaging with J/ROTC groups in Tallahassee and Los Angeles, in order to learn American military drill and trace the long-standing embodied history between military drill and dance. Alongside this engagement and research, they are developing a singular movement vocabulary that unfolds into methodical designs and drills, weaving patterns that rally into a procession of collectivity.

The dancers weaponize themselves through regimented movement as a means to transform violence into a ritual of sisterhood. Can the stage be a feminist battleground for collective ritual? Together they create a system of togetherness and care, so no one person is left behind. The performers yo-yo between collapsing and rectifying, creating an ever-changing engine on a pathway to revolution. They are creating complex systems of labor and cooperation where they self-drill and self-regulate their movement, riding the line between mastery and failure. Challenging notions of hierarchy, through interdependent leadership roles, and the ordinarily voiceless dancer, shapes action through cadence and chanting. Moving with a steady urgency, the dancers keep together in time in order to translate individual rage and anxiety into collective catharsis. Losing oneself in a group for the betterment of the whole.

CORPS premieres in 2020/2021 and is commissioned by New York Live Arts. The development of CORPS is made possible, in part, by the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) at Florida State University, New York Live Arts‘s Live Feed residency program and a Pillow Lab residency at Jacob’s Pillow.

*Currently seeking co-commissioners and residencies throughout 2019 and 2020.

Choreography Milka Djordjevich
Dancers Laurel Atwell, Dorothy Dubrule, Allie Hankins, Tiara Jackson, Daeun Jung and devika wickremesinghe
Music Chris Peck
Lighting Madeline Best

New York Live Arts (NYC)

Producer and Manager
Los Angeles Performance Practice

New York Live Arts 2019-2020 Live Feed Residency
Jacob’s Pillow Residency January 2020
MANCC May 2019
REDCAT NOW Festival 2018

*Currently seeking co-commissioners and residencies throughout 2019 and 2020.