History - A Chrysalis Project (1985)
December 23, 1985

History | History Text | History Posters | 1985 | A Chrysalis Project | Poster | Photographs | Video
Chrysalis - Wide Shot (1985)

Choreographer: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Music Composed and Performed: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Costuming: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Set Design: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Set Construction: Jimmy H. Miklavcic
Lighting: Jimmy H. Miklavcic
Dancer: Elizabeth A. Miklavcic
Location: University of Utah Modern Dance Department Theatre 208
Length: 7:56 minutes
Description
A Chrysalis Project was Another Language Performing Arts Company's debut work, choreographed and performed by Elizabeth A. Miklavcic. This dance is about a woman on the verge of emerging from her self-imposed barriers. Chrysalis was created and filmed in 1985 just as the Company's paperwork for 501(c)(3) status was officially completed, establishing Another Language as a non-profit corporation. This wide shot was taken with the company's Beta Max camera for documentation purposes, during the filming of Chrysalis for the edited version by Kerry Jensen.

Elizabeth and Jimmy Miklavcic lived in a small home at 154 McClelland Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the ceiling near the back of the house was a pull down ladder leading to the attic. Climbing up into the attic, one emerged into a sound studio that Jimmy had built. It included several synthesizers and two 4 track reel-to-reel tape decks. This is the location where Elizabeth would spend time recording and editing her voice for the Chrysalis sound track, manually splicing sections of reel-to-reel tape together to construct the composition.

Chrysalis is about identity, and more specifically female identity. It is a statement about how one thinks about oneself and one's abilities. The dancer is trying to establish an "I" as is repeated over and over at the beginning of the dance, while she struggles with moving away from safety, represented by the stool in the back of the set. Walls of streamers and plexiglass panels represent different stages of barriers to break through, and she attempts to do just that, but something holds her back from completely breaking free. She remains in her self-imposed framework, environment, or box, and in the end, she results to pulling back the final row of curtains to peer out, but not engage with the world beyond.

Jimmy and Elizabeth co-designed the set and Jimmy's design allowed for a stand alone piece as an installation, as well as, an independent performance set. A Chrysalis Project was installed and performed at the Salt Lake Art Center, (currently the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art-UMOCA) for the February 7, 1986 grand opening reception of James Pridgeon's The Big Picture. The installation ran in the gallery, Elizabeth gave a talk about the creation of the work, and she gave four performances on varying days and times throughout the month of February.