CROWN - Croatian World Network -
Melita Spahic Dance in London
By Nenad N. Bach
Published on 04/18/2008
Melita Spahic Dance is a meeting point for dance, theatre and video artists, composers and musicians to share their passion for the collaborative performance by developing their ideas and skills through various dance related projects.

Melita is a dance teacher and choreographer

Born in Karlovac (Croatia) Melita Spahic began her dance training at City Theatre Zorin dom Ballet Studio and at the Ana Maletic School for Contemporary Dance in Croatia. She then studied administrative law at the University of Law Studies in Zagreb. Melita was associated with the City Theatre in Karlovac for twenty years, performing extensively in dance, drama and musical productions before being appointed Director of the City Theatre Zorin Dom.

Melita continued her studies at London Contemporary Dance School and gained a Higher Education Certificate, a Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction and an MA specialising in Choreography. During her studies she was supported by a Frankopan Scholarship and the Helena Kennedy Award.

Melita has worked with Croatian choreographers including Ana Maria Bogdanovic, Durjda Kunej and Larisa Lipovac, and whilst studying in the UK has worked with and been influenced by Sarah Fahie, Sue MacLennan, Jonathan Lunn and Jonathan Burrows.

Melita has taught and choreographed for children, young people and professionals (dancers and actors) as well as being directing and choreographing in various performance and community productions which were presented in festivals around Croatia and internationally; most notably 44th International Children's festival in Sibenik, Croatia; including Resolution!2007 and Evolution!2008 at The Place and in  Ascendance as part of Sadler's Wells Connect Festival in UK.

Collaboration has been a key feature of Melita’s work and these have included the following artists:

Music -  Tonci Bilic (conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of The Croatian Radio and The Lisinski Concert Hall); Ivana Bilic (percussion and marimba player); Sven Buic (acoustic and electric bass player); Andrew Clarke and Wayne Walker-Allen

Theatre - Drazen Ferencina (drama director); Ivana Franciskovic (dramaturge); Sven Olivier Van Damme (dramaturge) and Igor Cikusa (painter)

Melita is currently based in London.

Melita Spahic Dance is a meeting point for dance, theatre and video artists, composers and musicians to share their passion for the collaborative performance by developing their ideas and skills through various dance related projects. The core content of these performances is drawn from the different disciplines and particular expertise of the group, which includes skilled dance, theatre and music specialists with international experience.

Melita Spahic envisioned the idea of ensemble when she began collaborating with musicians Andrew Clarke  and Wayne Walker - Allen and videographer Phil Winterhalder in 2005.  Since then they have created several different projects with varying themes as their starting point and presented them in different venues in London (The Place Robin Howard Dance Theatre, Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadler's Wells, The Crypt, St Pancras Parich Church, Euston)

Always true to the core philosophy MSD seeks to explore new pathways into performance and endeavours to discover different ways of approaching art practice and the viewing of dance.

The ensemble's mode varies from explorations within physical and dance theatre to cross arts, drawing from each strand that which is necessary for the process at hand.  Working methods are geared towards finding emotionally intelligent movement and new challenges within each new project. MSD strives to create original and distinctive work, embracing multiplicity as a core value.

MSD presently includes the following collaborators: Andrew Clarke, Wayne Walker-Allen (music), Phil Winterhalder (video artist) under the artistic direction of Melita Spahic.





Choreographed and Directed by: Melita Spahic
Music created and performed by: Andrew Clarke & Wayne Walker-Allen
Videographer: Phil Winterhalder
Visuals provided by: Darshana Vora

Following on from the successful dance installation in The Crypt, the original collaborators meet again with a fresh approach to re-stage this energetic work for the theatre.

Fields of detail for the stage explores a mixture of states, flashes and interactions in-between dance, music and live projected image. The stage decoration consists of five hanging lightbulbs, turned on and off by the dancers themselves as they move around them in the darkness or light.

This light-play, in relation to the live bodies, live music, and the moving projected images of the performers, as captured by the videographers, work to make Fields of Details a vibrant dance theatre piece!

'…this work showed exceptional originality and flair.' Amy Johnson

'Melita Spahic's Fields of Detail is fresh, freewheeling, and, along with its two live musicians, faintly hippie.' Sanjoy R