Press/About the performances:
Dreams and Obstacles (2012)
Časopis Scena, Zoran R. Popović
piše Jovan Ćirilov
LUDUS , piše Jelena Kovačević
In/visible City (2011/12)
In/Visible City, Movie premiere, Politika 2012
45th Bitef 11 Online/Bitef Festival e-bilten
Međunarodni radio srbija
The Nastasijevic Code 2010
Blic online/imaginarno realni svet negdašnjeg Beograda
|Crossing the Line (2009)
E-novine, December 2011
The stories we heard during the performance of the play CROSSING THE LINE are just one little part of the women`s side of war. Even though we are not yet ready to publicly hear their testimonies and to publicly feel ashamed because of the silence and ignoring, it seems we are not yet ready to live with ourselves. Still, as Hannah Arendth states- "From all, the best will be the ones that know that, as long as we live, whatever happens, we are condemned to live with ourselves ”.
E-NOVINE, CROSSING THE LINE , Dah Teatar
SALT ON A WOMENS WOUND
As part of the Off Frame, Festival of socially engaged theatre, the performance CROSSING THE LINE was announced as a possibility of women to speak about their own sufferings and anxiety that they have lived through during the war, whose consequences they are still enduring. The performance does not only succeeds in that, but with its performative effect activates the spectator to rethink the harsh theme of confronting the past that is still an undergoing process. If we can consider that it started at all.
The performance CROSSING THE LINE is based on texts and women’s testimonies from the book WOMEN`S SIDE OF THE WAR that was published by the activist group Women in Black in 2007.The directress Dijana Milosevic, one of the founders of DAH Theatre, composed, from texts collected from women, fragmentary stories through whose testimonies the performance itself takes place. Beside this, using a number of other scenic symbols and sub-dramatic rituals, the performance creates, in the Brechtian sense, a tense relation with the audience members, while trying to cast a light on the dark side of women’s suffering and their hidden and forsaken emotional abysses. As the directress Milosevic herself described, the performance was an impulse to” transform darkness or the terrible image into clear physical and spiritual distress on the scene. ”
The performance CROSSING THELINE is based on testimonies and documentary materials that are spoken out by the three actresses on stage. With their scenic skills they do not only present thematically just the text, but show through a sequence of signs, scenic effects, physical parts and dance the harsh theme they are involved with. These women (actresses), hence, become the voices of all the unfortunate women whose suffering is marginalized, but also completely justified. The directress Milosevic skillfully makes fragments of the most stunning, life misfortunes (motherly love without the presence of a father, the loss of a dear person, rape, discarding of a lived through identity) that are painful for these women, and with which they live with in everyday life ,and in this way pushing the audience into the same field of questioning of our joint responsibility and indifference. The performance bravely poses the question-how can you be indifferent to such suffering?
Beside the text of the performance, based on these moving testimonies, the performance is also presented with it`s remarkable scenic signs and rituals (movement, sound, video, light)that become an equally important part of this theatre performance. The directress takes out from the testimonies of these women the most sophisticated feelings and signs (important to them), to present them to the audience as an important, in this case cathartic, part of the scene.(apples that are scattered on the scene, letters and salt that the actresses pour upon them).
These scenic signs evoke especially important interpersonal experiences while the words that the actresses speak out become a painful unexpected review of harsh and distressing and hushed experiences of women creating an interpersonal communication (face to face)with every audience member. Even if we could have in mind the risk of making the performance a listing of facts and accumulation of testimonies without a clear message, the scenic signs, words but also the actors artistic expressions bring a completely different feeling. The directress Milosevic with her dramaturgical and directors concept gradually comes out of the usual dramatic form but not even in lone moment she does not traspass the women’s personal testimonies (the dramatic text) that is the core of the performance.
CROSSING THE LINE is a performance that bravely and without any restrains faces the social indifference towards the hard years of agony. It is not just a personal chronic of suffering but goes deeper and further placing the artist in its midst and asking him/her to define him/herself. That is visible in every step of the magnificent and intimate interpretations of actresses Sanje Krsmanović Tasić, Ivane Milenović i Maje Matić.The actresses notably, tragically, with readiness and critically, speak out the text with a lot of personal feeling (relation character-actor) but also with a lot of defiance towards the audience (relation actor-audience member).The actress Maja Mitic testifies ”My personal is always political, because I as an artist use also my social/political being in creating material for the performance. ”
The set design (Neša Paripović) and light design (Radomir Stamenković) of the performance contribute to its clarifying tone that especially ”explodes” in the scene when the actresses pour salt upon themselves. Using strong light contours in a dark background the light effect creates a scenic provocation with impact that points out that always again lived through pain and again lived through feeling of uncomfort that could be described with words “throwing salt on the wound”.
The performance could, somewhere on its margins, face also the question of forgiveness or moment in which the victim is faced eye to eye with its hangman.Is this the question that opens the wound that still hurts? What is forgiveness and is it possible in the situation when the guilty ones are pitied, with pleasure, by the community. The philosopher Vladimir Jankelevič writes- : "Only sorrow and the isolation of the guilty can give sense and justify forgiveness. If the guilty one is fat, well fed, content and has also gained a fortune from the economic miracle, forgiveness is a nasty joke.
The stories we heard during the performance of the play CROSSING THE LINE are just one little part of the women`s side of the war. Even though we are not yet ready to publicly hear their testimonies and to publicly feel ashamed because of the silence and ignoring, it seems we are not yet ready to live with ourselves. Still, as Hannah Arendth states- "From all, the best will be the ones that know that, as long as we live, whatever happens, we are condemned to live with ourselves ”.
Written by: Nenad Obradović
Daily newspaper Danas, October
The performance Crossing the Line, which has premiered two and a half years ago, directed by Dijana Milosevic , did not have any chance to participate at festivals nor to be in competition for some of the prestigious awards. In this performance (like in many others) there are no victim’s names pronounced, no incest traumas happening in Sarajevo while snipers are killing its citizens. There are no inflammatory nationalistic platitudes ironically shouted in cabaret manner.
Based on the book Women Side of War, published by Women in Black organization, actresses Sanja Krsmanovic Tasic, Ivana Milenovic and Maja Mitic are speaking out words of mothers from Srebrenica whose children were killed before their own eyes, words of raped women and witnesses of other horrible atrocities. Performance Crossing the Line is the one and only true politically engaged performance that we have chance to see in Serbian Theatre since October 5, 2000.
Law Text Culture (Australia), January 2011
Bljesak, BH Internet magazin
"Composed of personal confessions of mothers whose children were killed in front of their own eyes, raped women and witnesses of other war horrors, the performance “Crossing the Line” asks a question: How to establish trust between people of once warring powers? How to establish a dialogue between both sides with their traumatic experience: between the victim and the innocent that belongs to a collective that in his name produced a victim from a member of the other collective.
How to cross the line of undeniable crime, how to cross the line of pain that cannot heal, the line of burning embitterers and immobilizing shame? How can the victims be touched by the shame and suffering of those who were on the other side; how to, without fear, reveal our own emotional sympathy to the victims from the other side?
To establish the trust between nations and states – to, actually, take remove the burden of shame from the conscience of innocent people, despite of whose will and in which name the crimes were sowed - it is necessary that this country finishes with the politics of crime.
Until all of that is really done, voices of conscience that are “crossing the line” can only be heard from the realm of alternative culture."
Zlatko Paković, Politika, May 2009
The Story of Tea (2006)
Jat Review, Aprli 2007
“The Story of Tea is conceived as a combination of texts in which Chekhov’s drama Three sisters plays a key role.
A story that three sisters of Dah Theatre are experiencing in “the train to Moscow” is the story of some other time, some other country, and it is all about
the traumatic experience of life and death games in Serbia in previous decades.
On the realm of theatre language Dah Theatre develops an outstanding musical and theatrical play, spiced with brilliant acting and ornamentive choreography of Aleksandra Jelić, Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, and Maja Mitić. Supported by the music and acting of Jugoslav Hadžić, Aleksandra Damnjanović and Nebojša Ignjatović, the three sisters leave a profound impression of scenic presence, amplifying it with direct, face-to-face provocative contact with audience."
Igor Burić, Dnevnik 2007
"The subtitle of performance The Story of Tea is adequate: it is the variation on the theme of Three Sisters, A. P. Chekov. Beside only a few small texts taken from Chekov’s drama the main motive is - the longing of sisters to go to Moscow. This motive is than developed and amplified, and so the idea of traveling gains new connotations: from connecting different civilizations, to the collective remembrance on crime.
The motive of connecting civilizations moves our interest from subtitle to title. The Story of Tea begins like a cheerful “salon ritual” of serving and drinking tea. Three actress dressed in costumes from Chekhov’s époque are pouring tea, tinkling with tea cups, serving tea to the audience and while speaking texts from Okakura’s “Book of Tea”.(…)
(…) The circle is definitely closed when the audience are given miniature tea candles in their tea cups, again in complete silence, a pleasant beverage becomes a votive light, just as a joyful tea party, in which plans are made for the trip to Moscow, becomes a vigil to those whose life journey is brutally and harshly interrupted in some Balkan desolate place called Štrpci.
This above analysis is the attempt of a critic to reconstruct, probably in a very personal way, an extremely complex and demanding artistic concept with sharp ethical implications. This concept was developed in the close collaboration of the director Dijana Milosevic and the performers Jugoslav Hadžić, ,Aleksandra Jelić, Sanja Krsmanović Tasić and Maja Mitić, though a work process characteristic to the work of DAH Theatre. Besides the stories mentioned in this text there are many other metaphorical, poetic, minimalist, stylized, ritualistic and clearly associative scenes. All together they form a whole."
Ivan Medenica, Vreme, 2006
Magazines about Dah Theatre
Theatre Journal, Volume 64, Number 2, May 2012
„Law Text Culture“ (Australia), January 2011
„Theatre Forum“, Decembre 2010, No 38
„Tmača art“, br 39. February 2008
„Contemporary Theatre review”
„Jat Review” April 2008
„Jat Review” June 2008
„BelGuest” Winter 2007/08
"Jar Review" April, 2007
„ANSCHLÄGE’das feministische magazin” February 2007
„Theatre Journal“ December 2007
“Orchestra” br. 40/41, April/November 2006
„40. BITEF” 2006
“Orchestra“ Br.38/39, January/March 2005
„The Open Page” No.10 , 2005
„Jat Review” (Special edition) CULTURE 02/03
„Scena“ – March/April 2002
„Jat Review” 2002/6
„Theatre Forum” 2002, No21
“Orchestra”, No22/23, 2002
„Art Papers“ March/April 2001
“Southern Theatre” No3, Summer 2001
“Stikkordet”, No4 2001 (Sweden)
„Beloit College Magazine“ 2000
“Ludus“ Br. 67, September 1999
„Magdalena Aotearoa“ , September 1999
ŽENE NA DELU - Bilten , 8/9
„BELEF 98”, 1998
“INFANT” Festival Info/Bilten No4
“Unesko glasnik“ No3
"Pozorište danas" 1998
Žene u crnom, Belgrade, 1997
„Voice of Isidora“, March 1997. No5
“ The Magdalena“, October 1997, No 24
„Voice of Isidora“, January/ February, 1997. No13-14
„FIAT” , Podgorica, 1996
„Nezavisni“, November 1996, No197.
„Theatre Journal“, December 1996
„Beorama“, May 1995 No2
„Beorama“, October 1995 No47
„Dygnet Runt“, Sweden, August 1995
“Scottish Drama”, Winter 1995, No4
“ The Magdalena“, March 1995, No 16
„The Magdalena“, February 1994, No13
„Novi Pančević“, May 1994, No56
“Scena“, May/August 1994, No4
„New moment“, Summer 1994, No 2
Književna reč”, April 1992, No393-394
Books about Dah Theatre:
- Diary (Dnevnik)
Queeria Center Creative Team, Belgrade, 2010
- Dance – Reflection of Present Time (Igra – odraz vremena sadašnjeg)
Milica Zajcev, UBUS, Belgrade, 2009
- Theatre and performance in Eastern Europe/The Changing Scene
Dennis Barnett and Arthur Skelton, 2008
- Art and Upheaval/Artists on the World’s Frontlines
William Cleveland, 2008
- Frauen und Frauenorganisationen im Widerstand in Kroatien, Bosnien und Serbien
?arijana Grasak, Urlike Reimann and Kathrin Franke, 2007
- INFANT Prototype (INFANT Prototip)
Simon Grabovac, Novi Sad, 2007
- My Monodrama (Moje monodrame)
Rada Djuricin, Festival monodrame I pantomime, Beograd, 2005,
- TRANS-GLOBAL READINGS - Crossing Theatrical Boundaries
Caridad Svich, Manchester and New York, 2003
- Radical Street Performance and International Anthology
Jan Cohen-Cruz, London and New York, 1998