Alice in WonderBand was founded in 1998 in the hills of Fruska Gora, near Sremski Karlovci, a picturesque small town in the North of Serbia, and since then the band has been performing and educating audiences in Serbia and neighboring regions.
The only artists from the Balkans who have been developing a very specific type of performing arts, we use unity of music, theater, dance, movement and acrobatics with special art of body music and body percussion. We have been learning from international body percussion artists and developing this technique which uses body as a rhythmical instrument.
Alice in WonderBand is a lifelong project of musicians and theater performers Ana Vrbaski and Marko Dinjaski. Partners on stage as well as in private life for 24 years – this gives our relationship very unique dimension. Parents of Alisa (20) and Vid (23) – now we have a chance to devote ourselves to our artistic and pedagogic work, since our children have grown to be adults and live on their own in the city of Novi Sad.
We perform and create theater for children, youth and adults and music concerts and teach workshops of body music.
Alice in WonderBand’s performances
The group has been around for some time, each step of our journey being valuable because we had the opportunity to be an art lab, absorb different influences and create freely, open to different suggestions. Our artistic expression is so rich and diverse. We have the opportunity to perform at completely different events (such as the Nišville Theater Festival, Ethno.com Festival, Barski ljetopis, Milano Clown Festival, Bitef Polyphony) connecting to audiences of all ages, education and professions.
Reduced – sublimated, that’s exactly what art is. Creating an entire orchestra with only two people’s bodies is a challenge. This attracts us, because it is very basic and direct, and therefore communicates with the audience.
Alice in WonderBand’s concert
The Rika Taka music project gives us the opportunity to become more familiar with the heritage of the Balkans. The more we learn about it, the more we realize that the connections between the Balkan countries are numerous. This opens up doors to a sense of cosmopolitanism. We hope that each of our performances succeeds in conveying the same idea to the audience, as our similarities should connect us.
With the concert we have toured so far Germany, Serbia and Montenegro. German audiences love Balkan music and in Montenegro we felt at home. We also performed parts of the concert in Turkey, in Gaziantep, at the Social Circus Festival, in front of a large number of children, primarily of Syrian descent. It is interesting that the audience reacts similarly, from the youngest to the oldest. They enjoy the rhythm and melodies, clap with us and participate in the performances. Balkan music is a treasure – we’ve just arranged it our way and enjoy every performance.
Alice in WondeBand’s workshops
With the theater plays and workshops we’ve been to Italy, Austria, France, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia as well. It is great to perform in different countries where people understand our universal language of music and body movement. We teach without too many words. The understanding in the gaze of the participant, aligning with the group in the same beat is what people treasure the most on our workshops.
Performing for all audiences, we also teach body music people from all walks of life. Working with different age groups is a challenge, but also with professionals and amateurs. Everyone should be able to enjoy body music. Happy to make it happen! Check out our online New Balkan Rhythm body percussion workshops – you can tune in on our YouTube channel.
Our way of life
Life in the nature and life in the city overlap, and it is certainly necessary to participate in city life, as a contemporary artist. Moreover, with our way of life, we have more opportunities to hear the silence, which is valuable today, as well as to face challenges that the people living in cities do not know. This is precisely what empowers us to be successful independent artists, which is difficult, almost impossible in Serbia today. The beauty of nature and freedom also makes our art special.