Contemporary dance piece Sketches is based on the questioning of the relation between labour which is of the things and labour which is of the bodies. Following Paolo Virno, we think about dance as purposeless and non-productive investment of energy into movements which are "working" as vanishing. By not producing objectified products both purpose and financial valorization of dance are in our capitalistic, object-oriented society specifically problematic.

Initiation for this research originated from Franz Erhard Walther’s work “First Work Set” from 1969.  Walther’s notion of sculpture moving the body intrigued us to think: how does working with things generate movements of the body? What if working is functional in its purpose and what if it's non-functional? What if it is non-productive?

Researching movement by the relations of bodies and things, we got interested in the potential of materialities to re-arrange and change. We have been examining the materialities, principles and logics of things and their mechanisms of assembling and disassembling and translating them into dance vocabulary and principles for composing dance improvisations. While doing so we have been developing sketches of thoughts and principles for the re-arrangement of things and bodies. Sketches are choreographic things – „that a-personal, subjectless matter, that noninstrumental entity that would liberate a dancer's moves into a field of nonhierarchical, horizontal interactions.“ (Lepecki, Singularities, 2016).

In Sketches presupthings come into being by the principles and procedures of setting up and apart, co-relating with other things and events in the environment. Therefore, choreography unfolds in-between relations of things and working-bodies-becoming-dance.

Furthermore, in order to emphasize the fact that movement in space is a question of time, choreography unfolds as passing through space, leaving their material remains behind. It puts responsibility at the spectator to come closer – in the middle of things – and take the accountability for the things seen or missed.

Choreographic set-up is horizontal in the use of its constitutive elements: sketches, notes, lights and shadows, sounds, melodies, working and dancing bodies and things-becoming-installations – we find them equally important for the "working" of the art work.

Moreover, while developing the piece we have been working on ideas of specificities in the creation of the work of art itself – preparing for the work, collecting and re-arranging working materials, imagining, sketching the thoughts, ideas, sketching potentialities, exploring differences in time, space, light and shadows, sounds and their influence on the working process and final decisions that we make.

As choreography Sketches unfolds in time and space it offers their experiencers passing through the world of things in which movement, processuality and change are constitutive features of concurrent material and immaterial realities.

Project was realised with the support of Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media and co-produced by House of Art - LAUBA where the premiere took place. Performed in gallery Prozori, Zagreb; Culture Shock Festival in Križevci; DISKURS17 Festival, Giessen and on 52nd Zagreb Salon and as exhibition on Exhibition on XIII. Trienalle of Croatian Sculpture, Gliptoteka, Zagreb

Sketches were nominated for the best scenography on Croatians National Actors Award.


Antonia Dorbić, Marta Krešić, Danijela Renić, Lana Šprajcer

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