Observing Zoi Dimitriou’s work You May! seemed like a surreal dream. Haunting and evocative, taunting the dichotomies of possibility and impossibility, Dimitriou uses dance, theatre, photography, sound, and video to create a multidisciplinary piece which asks more questions than it answers.
A philosophical and artistic venture, Dimitriou presents her own reflection of contemporary society. In a world with countless opportunities, the desire to take ownership of one’s own destiny can mean that unhappiness in life can lead to a sense of guilt. Questioning this, Dimitriou has inverted the paradigm “You Can, Because You Must” to become “You Must, Because You Can”. We must be happy, because we can be happy, right?
The stage was set with white cloud-like objects, abstract in nature and representing “the space between”. With time being the impetus to create space (and thus movement), the dancers would count out loud, causing the body to move within space simultaneously defining it
Highly articulated movement conveys the fast-forward-rewind repetition within the work. Movements are robotic and controlled, methodical and calculated. Phrases are episodic, framed between spoken dialogues, and over time build into a fragmented overload of possibilities. These episodes seemed to collide with one another, with no phrase reaching its own conclusion.
You May! is a work which turns you inside out. In creating possibility, I think Dimitriou deliberately courted confusion. Indecisiveness rather than possibility drove me from step to step, and by the end I felt wrung out instead of challenged. I craved for the bodies on stage to reach some physical end point, stretching themselves and arriving somewhere.
However, in consequence, Dimitrou’s work seemed to accurately achieve its intention. Physically bound, unfinished, the movements and the structures of the work created layers which remained with you long after the applause has finished. Not only is there resonance regarding the concept of endless possibilities, this work challenges the means of dance to convey such philosophically conceptual ideas.
Not for the lighthearted, this work has a strong soul to it. Deeply considered and meticulously realised, the highlights of this work drift into your consciousness long after you’ve experienced it.