manual for empty spaces

manual for empty spaces was created 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, spatial, and conceptual layers to carve out an expanded choreographic site. The work has two versions: manual for empty spaces, a catalogue of options and manual for empty spaces, entering a performance.

The work engages the process and the outcome simultaneously while raising questions about the tools of choreographic intervention: whether in architectural space, imaginary space, or imaginative space, the tools with which empty space grapples with its spatial becoming to the body are fundamental elements of choreographic thinking. How can the choreographic process illuminate concrete abstractions derived from the underlying spatial and material framework: the very framework that defines the space itself? What protocols activate spaces and bodies? What new possibilities can be affirmed, expanding the perceptual horizon, in which every abstraction is always already available to all? Rather than approaching choreographic labor linearly, this work engages both the process and the outcome, shaping a distinct format that integrates personal history, the history of spatial systems, the history of their processes, and the excesses of fiction.

“The result of this commitment to the process is the concept of dance that integrates on both the level of danced material and the level of the recorded material being danced through. It involves a pen leaving a trail and a body inscribing itself into the studio space or cinematic space—touching walls or floors. Marjana Krajač’s dancers seem to dance with a pen in hand, moving through the notebook, while thinking, quite concretely, how to document a process.” (Katja Šimunić,

“A gesture of documenting the creative process shares with readers or viewers the author’s need for discipline that is not reducible to learned rules. This discipline rejects vain, fashionable, already confirmed, or generally accepted terminology. Instead, it demands a new kind of attention and, undoubtedly, new attempts to articulate one’s parameters for how to dance, what does it mean to dance and how to write and what does it mean to write.” (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 / Premiere: January 26, 2012 program notes pdf