manual for empty spaces

manual for empty spaces was created in 2011 and 2012 in Berlin and Zagreb. It oscillates between a choreographic diary and a camera intervention and can be described as an expanded choreographic cinema. It engages several cinematic, choreographic, and conceptual layers to create a distended choreographic site. The work has two versions: manual for empty spaces, a catalogue of options and manual for empty spaces, entering a performance.

Be it architectural space, imaginary space, or imaginative space, the tools with which the empty space is filled with meaning are the very constituents of choreographic thinking. Can we, in a choreographic sense, inhabit a space by populating it with concrete abstractions derived from its underlying material framework, the very framework that defines a space itself? Can we shed light on protocols capable of activating spaces in the presence of the body? Moreover, can we affirm new possibilities, expanding the perceptual horizon in which every abstraction is always already available to all? Instead of understanding choreographic labor in a linear way, this work seeks to engage all parts of the process simultaneously, creating a specific format that combines personal history, history of spatial systems, history of their processes, and the excesses of fiction.

“The result of this commitment to process is the concept of dance that is integrated both on the level of danced material and on the level of the recorded material being danced through; a pen that leaves a trail and a body that inscribes itself into the studio space, into the cinematic space, the body that touches walls or floors. Marjana Krajač’s dancers, dance with a pen in a hand, as it were, they dance through the notebook, while thinking, also quite concretely, how to note a process down” (Katja Šimunić,

“A gesture of documenting of the creative process shares with readers or viewers the author’s need for a discipline that is not reducible to learned rules, but a discipline that rejects vain, fashionable, already confirmed, or generally accepted terminology, and is instead demanding a new kind of attention, and surely, new attempts of articulating own parameters of the contemporary dancing and writing” (Nataša Govedić, Zarez).

Duration: 55 minutes / Concept and Choreography: Marjana Krajač / Dramaturgy: Marko Kostanić / Danced by: Lysandre Coutu-Sauvé, Jacob Peter Kovner, Chloé Serres, Ana Rocha / Light Design: Duško Richtermoc and Marjana Krajač / Video Processing: Bojan Gagić / Graphic design: Valentina Toth / Technical Director: Duško Richtermoc / Production: Sodaberg Koreografski Laboratorij / Supported by the City Office for Culture Zagreb and the Ministry of Culture of Republic Croatia. Produced with the support of Zagreb Dance Centre, Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance, and Uferstudios/Tanzfabrik Berlin. / Produced at the residencies at Choreoroam Europe 2011 (CSC Bassano del Grappa, Opera Estate Festival, The Place London, Rotterdam Dansateliers, a-2/Certamen Choreography Paso de Madrid, and Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance) / Reconstructed for the symposium Broken Performances: Time and (In)Completion, a project of BADco. (Zagreb), Maska (Ljubljana), Science Communications Research (Vienna), Walking Theory (Belgrade), Film-Protufilm (Zagreb), and Academy Of Dramatic Arts, University of Zagreb. With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union / program notes pdf