Zjana is a performing artist, choreographer, registered somatic practitioner and creative coder whose work is at the edge of performance and digital art. Her performance works bring together the physical, virtual, imaginative and real while exploring the possibilities of alternative spaces, science and magic. Her experience as a dance artist spans film, video, dance for camera, augmented and mixed reality performance.
Classically trained from a very young age, Zjana later turned her attention fully to contemporary dance. She has danced across the UK, the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East with the Hartford Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet Ensemble, Cleveland Repertory Project, and Time Lapse Dance/Jody Sperling; in Israel she has performed the work of Vertigo and choreographer Roy Assaf; commercial credits include dancing alongside musical artists Shaggy, Chaka Khan and Jamelia. Zjana has also worked with noise band Sonic Youth, iconic interactive media artist Scott Snibbe and film director Harmony Korine. Critics have recognized Zjana’s artistic strengths in her stage presence, technical skill, and imaginative portrayals.
Zjana started making her own choreography while attending CalArts where she earned a double major BFA in Performance and Choreography. She then went on to complete an MA in Performance Studies at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, researching the philosophical underpinnings of contemporary dance practice and its connection to the social and political context. Zjana continued her research into the use of mediatization and VR/AR in dance making at Trinity Laban where she recently obtained her MFA in Choreography.
As a choreographer and creative coder, Zjana has participated alongside a small group of artists in Oulu Dance Hack in Finland, exploring the use of new technologies, such as the 360 camera. Currently, she is part of Moving Digits: Augmented Dance for Engaged Audience, an international project co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the EU, investigating digital technology as used in dance art and audience participation.
Zjana has led workshops and performance labs internationally and delivered lecture/seminars on Dance and New Media, Somatics, and Dance in Museums at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She was a visiting professor of dance at the Belgrade Institute for Performing Arts (Serbia) teaching floor work, improvisation, contemporary dance technique, performance-making and composition in 2017.
She is executive producer of Ilan Lev Method London, a unique somatic movement education and therapy method and also teaches somatics-based yoga and Gyrotonic®. She studied these somatic modalities with the creators personally – Ilan Lev and Julio Horvath respectively – and integrates them into her performance making.
Dance, digital media, and performance studies are closely intertwined in her live and virtual performances. Zjana’s works have been presented and she has performed at venues such as Tribeca Performing Arts Center (New York, USA), The Bushnell (Hartford, USA), Boston Opera House (Boston, USA), REDCAT (Los Angeles, USA), Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bangalore, India), Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater (Tel Aviv, Israel), Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona, Spain), Gerard Behard Centre (Jerusalem, Israel), Grec Fest La Caldera (Barcelona, Spain), Complesso Monumentale di Santa Sofia (Salerno, Italy), The Place (London, UK), Turner Contemporary (Margate, UK), Sheung Wan Culture Centre (Hong Kong), Laban Theatre (London, UK), Oulu Museum of Art (Finland), Roundhouse (London, UK), Stone Nest (London, UK), and Space Studios (London, UK).