Back to All Events


  • First Congregational Church of Oakland (United Church of Christ) 2501 Harrison Street Oakland, CA, 94612 United States (map)

Reserve your space here.

Offering an introduction to Serbian singing, folk dances, and oral poetry this workshop will also explore how drawing from the deep well of traditional culture can help us develop individual and collective powers of perception, expression, and imagination.

Serbian folk singer and performance artist Svetlana Spajić will present ancient folk songs she learned while studying with some of the masters of this traditional art practice. Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with singing some of the most ancient traditional singing forms, such as ''na glas'', ''ganga'', ''kolanje'' and learn about old traditional singing techniques such as "potresanje", "orzenje" etc. Instead of using words like: tone, note, melody, intonation, much more attention will be paid to the ability to focus, projections of sound, and to listening and hearing, both individually and within the group. 

About Svetlana Spajic:
Since 1993 Svetlana Spajić has been performing and teaching traditional Serbian and Balkan songs, visiting and living in villages in rural areas, and learning the oral tradition and culture among village singers. Her main field of interest are ancient, orally transmitted vocal traditions of Serbian and Balkan non-tempered a capella singing and its unique vocal techniques and ornamentation, language, function, and meaning. She learned from the best village local singers and sang with some of the most famous traditional singers of the world such as Hronis Aidonidis, Domna Samiou, Yanka Rupkina, Bokan Stankovic. In the meantime she collaborated with artist Marina Abramović, Robert Wilson, Antony Hegarty, William Basinski, Sainkho Namtchylak, Boris Kovac, Stella Chiweshe, Balkan Beat Box and Kitka... 

Svetlana Spajić has performed and lectured in Concertgebouw -Amsterdam, Wiener Konzerthaus, MoMA - New York, MOCA (Los Angeles), Teatro Real (Madrid), Jad Vashem Institut (Jerusalem), Grotowski Institute - Wroclaw, Warsaw Radio, WOMAD - Radio BBC3 stage, WOMEX 2010…Since 2010 she collaborates with theatre director Robert Wilson in his visionary opera "The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic" as a composer, lyricist and a performer. Last year she started collaborating with ARIA, the academy for Early and Baroque music from Nantes.