Jelena Kostic

2013 – 2016

© Renate Beense

© Renate Beense

Jelena Kostić came to the Netherlands to continue her studies after doing classical dance in Belgrade in Serbia. In 2002 she graduated from the Fontys Dance Academy in Tilburg. A few years later a scholarship for Dance Web, UmpulsTanz Vienne led her to the production of performances. Her attention was drawn to choreographical frameworks and the search for her own personal style. Starting off with a number of smaller productions Jelena developed a strong link with the Tilburg dance scene and in August 2009 she presented her first major production for stage: March, which was later performed in a number of (inter)national theatres. At the Koreograpfske Miniiature Festival 2010 in Belgrade Kostić received the award for Best Choreography for het duet CPЖ. In 2012 she presented her second major production: Yell Penelope.

Jelena Kostić composes theatrical dance performances in which socio-political themes play a prominent role. She uses her view of recent history as a starting point for performances that involve cultural identity, gender issues and civil protest. Her politically coloured themes and her critical views on society are striking. Her fascination lies in the balance between ‘the individual’ and ‘the group’. Alienation and security, herd behaviour, self-interest and sacrifice, rejection and affection are subjects that occupy her mind. In short, she is touched by human feelings and is compelled to share them with an audience with wonder and compassion. By joining in the public debate, Kostić imbues her work with a relevance that goes well beyond that required by most artistic criteria. She draws her audience out of its comfort zone by making it share in the contradictory emotions of her characters. ‘Instead of dance steps and movements, I give my dancers characters’, is her claim to choreographic fame.

DansBrabant is convinced that working together with Jelena Kostic will bring with it a fantastic addition to the Dutch field of dance thanks to her exuberant style with its drama and symbolism. Through a combination of lyrical lines and martial arts/free running, her personal style is starting to unfold. A style with distinctive features such as extremely subtle movements, dynamic contrasts in both solo- and partner-pieces and aesthetic contrasts in dance styles. Moving from tender, poetic refinement to raw, blunt violence. Through all of this she constantly searches for a balance between anecdote and abstraction. During her early years Jelena Kostić found support at Productiehuis Brabant. Now that the time has come for her to grow and broaden her (inter)national network within a changing landscape DansBrabant is happy to offer her the stability and contacts she needs to achieve her full potential. Kostić works from within her own non-profit foundation ‘Kostic’ and frequently collaborates with composers Strijbos&vanRijswijk.

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