DAH Theater was founded by directors Dijana Milošević and Jadranka Anđelić in 1991, out of the need to experiment and research further in their theater work. From the very beginning, they have been joined by actress Maja Mitić, and during the years, a large number of permanent and occasional associates have joined the DAH Theater. In 1993, the DAH Theater grew into the DAH Theater Research Center, and in 2017 it became the DAH Theater International.
From 1993 until today, the Center has organized and realized many events: specific workshops (Laban technique, Alexander technique, the legacy of Maga Magazinović, work with stilts, Butho, Suzuki technique, etc.), international festivals and meetings featuring many important artists from all over the world (Odin Theater – Denmark, Joshi Oida – France / Japan, Shiro Daimon – France / Japan, Sonia Kehler – Germany, Jill Greenghalgh – Great Britain, David Zinder – Israel, Ron Jenkins – USA, 7 Stages Theater – USA , Bond Steet Theater – USA, Anna Zubrzicky and Grzegorz Bral – Poland, Stella Chiweshe – Zimbabwe, Gennadi Bogdanov – Russia, among others).
The great theater masters said that the first steps of a theater group determine its destiny. The first play certainly determined the fate of the DAH Theater, shaping the main postulates of its work. The themes through which DAH Theater expresses its poetics remain related to the relationship between the individual and society, and the role of the artist in dark times.
When the war in Yugoslavia began in 1991, DAH Theater faced the essential questions: “What is the responsibility and duty of artists in dark times, in times of violence and human suffering? ” In search of answers, the group interrupted work on their current project “Gifts of our Ancestors” and dedicates itself to the preparation of a new play. The play, “This Babylonian Confusion”, based on songs by Bertolt Brecht, was the first performance of the DAH Theater- an anti-war play performed by DAH Theater in an open space in the center of Belgrade, at a time when war was not allowed to be mentioned.
“The beginning of the work of DAH Theater, its cry for creation, chronologically coincided with the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and the general destruction that followed. Theater directors Jadranka Andjelic and Diana Milosevic, together with actress Maja Mitic, decided to oppose destruction with creation, to create a living theatrical microcosm in a disintegrating world. “
Dubravka Knežević (“To the last breath”, SCENA no. 5/6, 1995)
The book about DAH Theatre
In 2016, DAH Theater celebrated its 25th anniversary as the first book on DAH Theater was published – “DAH Theater – A Sourcebook” published by Lexington Books, edited by Dennis Barnett, professor of drama and literature at Koi College, Iowa [USA]. In the book, eminent artists from all over the world as well as natives from Serbia contributed texts about the DAH Theater; with a foreword written by Eugenio Barba, the famous director and founder of the Odin Theater.
Dennis Barnett has assembled a most informed and engaging sourcebook on DAH Theatre, one of the world’s definitive companies working in social conflict contexts. A work of great breadth that offers a meaningful and enjoying read to the historian, the scholar and the practitioner, while ultimately managing to paint the rich portrait of a living theater and of the people and societal circumstances that breathe life into it. This is a necessary and revelatory book. –Roberto Gutiérrez Varea, University of San Francisco