Stefan Jovanović is a queer and neurodivergent performance-maker and architect, creating neo-mythical worlds and speculative fabulations in theatrical and site-specific environments. He makes work about radical togetherness, systemic inclusion and ancestral trauma through a maximalist aesthetic and approach that combines sculpture, drawing, dance and installation art. Creating spaces for healing sits at the core of his practice.
In 2019, Stefan created his first large collaborative theatrical work, Constellations, premiering at Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Theatre. The piece combined dark comedy, social dancing with audience, sculpture, drag and pop-music to give a voice to stories belonging to marginalised identities in contemporary culture. Throughout his unconventional training as an architect at the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture in London, he rapidly built a track-record of work at the edge of critical artistic practices that give importance to the phenomenological (embodied) as well as alternative epistemologies of knowledge. He is the co-founder of arts and architecture collective, The Growing.
He was a Sadler’s Wells Summer University Artist (2015-2018), IdeasCity New Museum Fellow (Athens, 2016) and the recipient of the DanceWEB Scholarship at ImpulsTanz International Dance Festival (2016). He has previously taught at the AA, Royal College of Art (RCA), Independent Dance (ID) and London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS).
In 2018 he was invited by the late renowned architect Will Alsop to transform derelict sites in Bermondsey into a series of public-facing performance salons entitled Velvet Fools. In these evening happenings, Stefan curated artists with varying creative practices to gather and host improvised dances for divining unknown futures. As an architect, he develops a unique sensibility of what the choreographic and theatrical are.
He has researched, worked and exchanged with other internationally acclaimed artists, including Meg Stuart, Ivo Dimchev, Deborah Hay, Simone Augherlony, Jen Rosenblit, and Boris Charmatz. He will often work in the capacity of scenographic/dramaturge & outside eye for choreographers and dance-artists including Jonathan Burrows & Matteo Fargion, Mark Lorimer, Pau Aran Gimeno, Matthias Sperling and Katye Coe.
Stefan’s training in body-based therapies, including Somatic Experiencing® and Systemic Family Constellations, offers him tools of care and facilitation when working in creative collaborative processes, as well as with social and ancestral trauma. He currently assists on both London-branch trainings and has previously assisted Dr. Peter A. Levine in his seminal workshop Trauma in the Public Eye, a trauma-informed workshop for performing artists.
Stefan’s practice currently explores notions of togetherness through mediums that are very physical, spiritual & virtual, creating social spaces that allow for difference and the integration of morphic resonance, affect and empathic awareness into artistic and cultural experiences.
As part of a residency at Dance4’s iC4C in May 2021, a work-in-progress of Drumming in the Hall of the Mountain was presented as a Sneak Peek, which you can view here.
Images by photographher Camilla Greenwell.