Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 8, 2011.


'The Return' (a collaborative performance): an examination of the issues of returning home after great trauma.

The Return'

            'The Return' (a collaborative performance): an examination of the issues of returning home after great trauma.


            Ten artists from Bosnia and Croatia and five from the USA bade the question, “How do fractured communities reconnect?”.  Through concerted collaboration over a 10 month period spanning global waters, air, and land masses; the participating artists propose “The Return” to be performed at the International Contemporary Dance Festival ZVRK Sarajevo in September 2011.



There are many modes by which we communicate. We do this in order to connect and return to that sense of holistic community. The body’s expression, sound, verbal and text language, technology, computers and electronics have provided fractured communities various abilities to reconnect and un-fracture.


Our theme is an examination of the issues of returning home after great trauma. The title “The Return” refers to the great diaspora of Balkan residents who were forced into exile by the war. 


            This is a collaborative, improvisational piece situated on the bridge as a metaphor, for joy, for rebirth, connecting--for coming home, for returning. The fifteen artists present over the span of 3 hours The Return. The performance occurs during late afternoon on and near one of the bridges in downtown Sarajevo as the sun continues its descent. It involves sound, poetry, musical score specially created for this occasion, dance and other performative actions. 


            The exploration of fractured communities continues with the divide between audience and performer. The connection a spectator has to The Return is integral to the over arching questions and theme of the piece in the festival. The “bridge” occurs through directing and guiding the audience to move in a gentle piece using pedestrian (everyday human gestures and motion i.e. hands waving in the air, heads nodding up and down—yes, etc) actions beginning from simple images that elicit those movements from the audience. These will continue to grow and fold into the collaborative experience on the bridge. With this, the line between the moment of “performative action” and ordinary street activity will be blurred developing a separate reality through The Return. The performance will be photographed, recorded and documented on a website. The piece reflects Sarajevo’s history and is not aggressive or confrontational tactics to draw the audience into their gentle moving expression and experience. 


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