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Join us for UTOPIA: touch, an hour-long, live, durational performance with 9 dancers in isolation exploring the tendernesses of unity and rebellion.
Team: Vladimir Kremenović and Leah Crosby
We are exploring proximity and unity in the virtual space while grappling with the politics of surveillance and tensions between obedience and freedom. It is the second event in UTOPIA, a series of dance performances drawing inspiration from brutalist architecture, principles of socialism and democracy, and lasting questions surrounding the breakup of Yugoslavia.
The UTOPIA series is inspired by my experiences growing up in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War and its aftermath. Although Bosnia has been a democracy for twenty-five years, socialist Yugoslav values continue to dominate socio-political life: conformity, uniformity, apathy, and obedience. Over the years, these cultural traits gave rise to xenophobia, homophobia, ethnic division, hate speech, and mythologized ideas of nationalism. I immigrated to America largely to escape these circumstances, only to discover similar tensions emerging here. As someone with family members displaced and killed during the Bosnian War, and as someone compelled to emigrate due to mounting social unrest, I hope to call attention to the dangers in divisionist political rhetoric.
Brutalist buildings are characterized by their monumental, monolithic appearance constructed out of raw, unfinished, molded concrete, and are often described as cold, imposing, and even scary. Brutalism was a popular architectural style around the world in the mid-20th century. During these decades, Seattle experienced a period of consistent economic growth and development. Due to its powerful aesthetic presence, brutalism was often utilized for government and university buildings, including in Seattle, where the best examples can be found around downtown and in the UW area. These structures serve as a bridge between my Bosnian and Seattle homes because, for me, they conjure images of familiar landscapes, nostalgia for home, and joy.
UTOPIA: touch is a virtual restaging of UTOPIA: freedom, a durational dance performance presented at NextFest 2019 by Velocity Dance Center.
We are providing additional written material on the performance webpage.