forensics and fugue for a folder

forensics and fugue for a folder is a performative archive created for the Performance Studies International Conference #15, which took place in 2009 in Zagreb. The project was commissioned as part of the “What To Affirm? What To Perform?” Program and the East Dance Academy Project, exploring the histories of choreographic concepts in East European, Croatian, and Yugoslav contexts, as well as artistic strategies of self-organization, education, and political engagement.

forensics and fugue for a folder explored the choreographic practice of Milana Broš, an important Yugoslav avant-garde choreographer active in Zagreb during the 1960s and 1970s, and focused on “La voix du silence,” a largely undocumented work from her oeuvre. The piece was choreographed within an open improvisatory composition by Dubravko Detoni and was staged in 1973 as part of the happening titled “Carrousel II,” presented at the 7th Music Biennale Zagreb. The happening brought together an impressive lineup of ensembles, including the Zagreb Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra, Yugoslav Army Wind Orchestra, Zagreb Radio-Television Dance Orchestra, J. A. Riedl’s Group from Munich, Zagreb Radio-Television Choir, Children’s Choir of Vatroslav Lisinski School of Music, Vocal Ensemble Coral from Belgrade, Zagreb’s Center for New Tendencies Ensemble, and Milana Broš’s Chamber Ensemble of Free Dance (Komorni ansambl slobodnog plesa, KASP).

forensics and fugue for a folder reconstructed the choreographic and performative aspects of this version of “La voix du silence,” shedding light on its environment, particularly due to the absence of documented recordings or visual traces. The project mobilized fragments and the periphery while revisiting the historical context in which choreographic and artistic practices unfolded. It entailed the reconstruction of several documents from the period, along with a conversation with Milana Broš. A remarkable witness, she not only contributed to the understanding of the historic period but also shed light on the modernist and postmodernist tendencies in the region that were exceptionally engaged, active, and transformative.

Milana Broš, born in 1929, passed away in 2012, and her absence is deeply felt. She was not only a groundbreaking choreographer, an extraordinary artist, and a prominent intellectual, but also a supportive colleague and an integral member of the Zagreb dance community. This project therefore holds a special and valuable place in my artistic history.

Author: Marjana Krajač / Research Support: Dr. Dalibor Davidović / Dramaturgy: Marko Kostanić / Collaboration, Photography, and Documentation: Iva Korenčić / Video Interviews: Stjepan Grbić Rodion / Translation: Marina Miladinov / Video archive of Milana Broš: Kaspomanija, published by the Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance (2006) / Created in 2009 in Zagreb for the conference Performance Studies International #15. Commissioned by the Center for Drama Art Zagreb, What to Affirm? What to Perform? Program, and East Dance Academy Project, a joint project of the Centre For Drama Art (Zagreb, Croatia), National Dance Centre (Bucharest, Romania), Maska (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Tanzquartier (Vienna, Austria), and Allianz Kulturstifftung (Berlin, Germany). / Produced with the support of the City Office for Culture Zagreb and Ministry of Culture of Republic Croatia. / We thank Dr. Nikša Gligo, Dubravko Detoni, Milana Broš, Maja Đurinović, Erika Krpan, Zrinka Matić, Ivana Kocelj, Nina Čalopek, Goran Sergej Pristaš, Enes Midžić, and Lovro Rumiha. / We thank colleagues from the archives of the Croatian Radio-television, archives of the Croatian Composers’ Society as well as several private archives of the artists.