Elizabeth A. Miklavcic - Choreographic Works
What? - May 10, 1984

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What? (1984)

Choreographer: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Music: Jimmy H. Miklavcic
Costuming: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Lighting: Jimmy H. Miklavcic
Dancers: Esther Burchinal, Susie McGee-Lowdermilk
Location: Utah Art
Length: 8:45 minutes
What? choreographed by Elizabeth Miklavcic in 1984, on dancers Susie McGee-Lowdermilk and Esther Burchinal, was a dance about communication. Two people try to communicate amongst themselves and the greater world. They are unable to make themselves heard, and as the inability to communicate continues, the frustration is represented in more and more aggressive movement, until at the end they just break and stop trying

What? is also in the sense of "What Are You Looking At? Am I Bothering You? Are my gestures bothering you, my clothes, my difference, my very presence?" You know, being stared at by someone with judgement, as if they are better than you.

Remember that 1984 was the height of the Punk movement and people were walking around with big, pink, purple, blue, and rainbow colored hair. They wore outlandish, attention grabbing clothing, and just because of that, they wanted people to look, and at the same time they thumbed their nose at people staring. Screw Judgement! Society, then as now, was trying to fit the upcoming generation into a box. Young people were fighting to resist and define themselves differently by breaking through a variety of barriers and that took the form of Punk.

What? the dance was a part of that time, with the crushed velour jumpsuits and bald heads. The appearance of women, that turned into androgynous creatures was mesmerizing. The unusual gestures, movement combinations, and original electronic music by Jimmy Miklavcic all came together into a unique statement. Simultaneously alien, and, clearly of the time in which it was created.

What? A Choreographic Evolution DVD traces this dance from its inception in 1984 through its final performance in 1995. The project DVD is free to educators upon request and is also available in the Education-Interactive area of AnotherLanguage.org.