Elizabeth A. Miklavcic - Choreographic Works
What? - September 25, 1986

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What? (1986)

Choreographer: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Music: Jimmy H. Miklavcic
Costuming: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Lighting: Jimmy H. Miklavcic
Dancers: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic, Brian Lee Varanzoff
Location: University of Utah Modern Dance Department Theatre 208
Length: 8:30 minutes
Description
What? was originally choreographed in 1984 by Elizabeth Miklavcic on dancers Susie McGee-Lowdermilk and Esther Burchinal for Experimental Floss (1982-1985), an art variety show organized by Tina Karlsson, Elizabeth and Jimmy Miklavcic.

Elizabeth restaged the work for Another Language's Debut Concert, As Our Thoughts Escape Us, in 1986. Elizabeth and Brian had a great friendship and similar body types, which was helpful for the illusion of the dance concept. The concept of this dance is about two people (or aliens) trying to communicate with each other and the outside world. The harder they try, the less they are heard and by the end of the dance they are exhausted and not necessarily successful in their efforts

This is an extremely difficult and challenging dance, it taxes the technique and endurance of the dancers. After the two solos, the duet section is almost entirely dependent on the dancers paying attention to each other since there are hardly any counts in Jimmy Miklavcic's excellent score. The only time the dancers are counting is during a jumping sequence of 7,5,4 repeating phrases. Posing a further challenge, Elizabeth was four and a half month's pregnant when this video was shot.

Another Language is pleased and proud to have a record of this dance. It had to be recorded during dress rehearsal, when the theater lights were brought up bright enough for the camera to be able to record the action on stage. Only very expensive cameras could shoot in low light at that time, and the company's Sony Betamax Camcorder did not have that capability. As a result, the dress rehearsal was shot specifically to have a record of this concert. This record is especially precious since Brian passed away due to HIV/AIDS complications approximately two years after this performance.

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.