Dalija Aćin @ ImPulsTanz

Via B92, I’ve just found out that Dalija Aćin will premiere her new work at ImPulsTanz later this month. This is wonderful news (thought I’d mention).

Dalija won the Prix Jardin d’Europe, awarded by emerging critics to emerging choreographers, at ImPulsTanz last year, for her work , a sort of horror-dance based on the total fallibility of memory. I have hoped to write about it ever since arriving back from Vienna in a state of shellshocked awe. Of course, it’s not the last time that life simple moved on too fast.

Handle With Great Care is quite similar in its point of interest to another very beautiful dance that has been made this year, Sandra Parker’s Out of Light. When I saw it, earlier this year, I had an acute, sharp and mournful flashback to Handle with Great Care. I’ve described both choreographies as looking like faint memories of choreographies. While watching them, they look like distant memories of a performance. But Parker’s dance, however beautifully executed, was two things that always anger me in art: full of frills, and twee. There was a lot of memory going on in her work, a whole tapestry of lost threads, and some sort of funny didacticism at the end that both redeemed the piece (with its proclamation of value where, until that point, there had been only vacuous cuteness) and condemned it further. But that may be, as we say, a cultural thing.

Aćin’s work, in contrast, was so sparse that it amounted to a horror. It moved without moving, it lasted forever, it often felt that the dancer was trapped in her own body, which couldn’t move because couldn’t remember what, how, why. Handle with Great Care was relentlessly harsh, not ascetic but intelligently, burrowingly harsh, it was an active rather than passive aggression, and it wasn’t beautiful so much as sublime.

Her most recent work, Oh, no!, uses breakdance moves to explore masculinity. After the lucky Vienna, it will tour Budapest, Zagreb, Maribor and Sarajevo.