Concept, choreography, set design: Dalija Aćin
Dramaturgy: Saša Božić
Cast: Ana Dubljević, Ana Ignjatović, Ljiljana Tasić
Original music: Rastko Lazić
Graphic design: Mihailo Ršumović
Production: Station – Service for Contemporary Dance, The Belgrade Drama Theatre, c.o/combined operations - Zagreb
The play uses quotations from the texts by M. Bakunin, The Song of Songs and the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, as well as Bob Dylan’s song A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.
The duration of the play is 50 minutes.
The latest project by choreographer Dalija Aćin ‘Overdone and Gone’ is a minimalist stage essay, dealing with the topics of ideology of extremes and related self-determination somewhere between freedom and love. This, somewhat romanticist motif is re-placed into the focus of our current time by a pragmatic use of the political theatre postulates and re-examination of its effects today.
If we accept the motifs of the fragmentation, crippling and destruction of identity as fundamental metaphors of the visual rhetoric of today, each and every idea of extreme believes (except totalitarian or fundamental) seems absurd. Establishing the human need for compassion and love as a norm, the play plaintively disassembles the structure of humanity, dealing with the terms of the shapeless, monstrous, extreme, obscene, and love and hope.
Through a particular choreographic method based on a certain objectivity of body and geometrical features of mise-en-scene, the play ‘Overdone and Gone’ establishes a change of identity-genre relationships; the represented bodies are turned into chimeras, or still lifes. They are unusually gracious, at the same time frightening and dignified, while they persist in their own isolation…
The implicit political engagement of the play is inscribed in its choreographic procedure, reminding us that there is time in which shapeless human body exists for the spectator not only as a stage metaphor, but also as a (witnessed) reality…
Dalija Aćin, is one of the most prominent contemporary Serbian choreographers, and certainly the most present in the wider European contemporary dance context. The last year’s project Handle with Great Care, which came as a result of her cooperation with Zagreb based dramaturge Saša Božić, is the only domestic play entered into the main programme of Bitef last year, and was also staged at the Infant Festival in Novi Sad, the Week of Contemporary Dance in Zagreb, as well as at festivals in Maribor and Forli in Italy. In her new project Overdone and Gone Dalija Aćin introduces the young aspiring dancers of Serbian scene together with renowned Belgrade dancer Ana Ignjatović.
INTERESTING DANCE CONSTRUCTIONS
‘Overdone and Gone’, the new stage production choreographed by Dalija Aćin, performed on the new stage of the Belgrade Drama Theatre, was realised in the footsteps of the previous, very successful accomplishment of the authoress of ‘Handle with Great Care’. Namely, here a perplexing atmosphere is enriched by Rastko Lazić’s music, while the play, like the last one, is characterised by an extremely slow tempo. There is a clear, purified and very original choreographic and stage language in the foundation of the choreographer’s work. The play ‘Overdone and Gone’ deals with the issues of love in the widest sense – as self-confrontation, as unavoidable situations and struggle. The three dancers, denuded, with naked breasts, wear boxing caps on their heads and during the performance they put on and take off black boxing gloves. Slowly, lethargically, their dance, like some kind of dance Zen poetry, draws us in its space, the space of contemplation and corporal fragility. Occasionally, the dancers create a static stage image, in which we listen to electronically modified voice uttering excerpts from The Song of Songs or Epistle to the Corinthians. The play defies the principles of classical dramaturgy and flows flatly, without accents, without development or climax, thus losing nothing of its remarkable character.
Finally, only short, effective strikes of the two dancers in boxing gloves, alluding to the everlasting human conflict, to love as a boxing ring, pain, confrontation. The set design is effective, reduced, and Ana Ignjatovic’s dancing in the first line, but Ana Dubljevic and Ljiljana Tasic’s dancing as well is involved, convincing and precise.
This Dalija Acin’s play also requires the audiences’ total involvement, dedication, understanding; it does not attempt at attraction, it does not succumb to external aesthetical temptations, but builds and realises its aesthetics from within. It requires diving into its rhythm, offering a very interesting theatrical experience in return.
The project has been supported by the City of Belgrade Secretariat for Culture, Ministry for Culture of the Republic of Serbia and the Culture 2000 Programme of the European Union within the Enhanced danceWEB-Europe.
Jelena Kajgo, Politika, 10th March 2008