Zoi Dimitriou

About…

The Work

Resisting categorisation, my work can nevertheless be characterised by a pared-down, minimalist style of dance-theatre performance with a devoted attention to detail.

One of the aspirations of the work is to maintain a deep focus in the expressive possibilities inherent in the body in motion and also explore the use of objects, text, sound and light towards the creation of a cohesive whole, a total artistic synthesis.

Themes running through my work rotate around questions of subjectivity formation, visual identification, presentation-representation, the actualisation of various concepts-treatments of time and the examination of myth and its conquer rant archetypical themes.


Choices

The choices in my work are predicated on my own peculiar resources-obsessions of imagination, you might say and also an ongoing argument with, love of, and contempt for dancing. What is true is that I love the body - its actual weight, mass and unenhanced physicality. My overall concerns are to reveal people as they are engaged in various kinds of activities and to weight the quality of the human body toward that of objects, words/language, sound and light. 'Dancing' in a strict sense, i.e. movement invention is but one of the main factors in the work.


Methods

In order to escape what I call the over-indulgence, narcissism and super-stylisation of a work and the way the former is performed, I work intensely with structure found and manifested in a variety of fields from science and music to applications of energy and thought processes. By starting from formal structuring devises I create a context in which the material can exist with a certain distance from the pure emotive/subjective, before proceeding in methods of deconstruction, reconstruction and re-contextualisation, in order to invest feeling/meaning back to form.


Performing

Creative work in the studio involves play time, improvisation tasks and interviews/discussions in line with the current themes of play. These initial stages of the work often end up at complex structures, in order to arrive in what I term the authenticity of the performer at work, as by having the dancer endure a complexity of tasks is forced in presentation of oneself and away from the representation of anything else. Then a certain tension is created between that which is and that which it might allude to in absence of, a tension that can produce a new meaning or a new experience.


Meaning

One of the ongoing interests is to raise the problem of assigning 'meaning' to dance to the level of the subject and bring the attention to this. Is 'dancing' in a strict sense, meaningful? Do we need other means of signification to enhance what is there already, and if we do use other languages do they still keep their autonomy in a playful interplay or are used to make away for the 'weakness' of not achieving 'meaningful dances?' In the end who or what constitutes meaning and is that equivalent to value?


Body & Politics

What are the politics of the body in the work and the politics of the body of work in the place of presentation? I am using the word politics as I understand it etymologically; deriving from the Greek word Polis which means city and Politics meaning the act of citizenship, the act of inhabiting a place. With this in mind I see the body as the cite for any images and thoughts and the place that that body inhabits the cite of discourse.


Body & Culture

According to Pierre Bourdieu culture is incorporated and it is not only a question of what clothes are worn but how they are worn. Can we conceive therefore in performance an embodied dialectic around the notion of acquired culture and really examine the object of construction and the subject itself? What is the reality that remains? Is the body in the end the sole enduring reality?


Conditions for the Creative Act

In regards to the conditions for the making of my work, it relies on my ongoing interest and energy. I do not allow ideological issues to determine the nature of the work nor any of the current socio-political circumstances its execution. I view art as autopsy, a way of dissecting my lived reality of this world that also constitutes my connection to it.My aim is to exercise the art of my time rather than the taste of my time and create work that is contemporaneous as it is not made out of culture, it creates culture.


Total Work of Art

One of the things I strive for artistically is to collaborate with various artists and to allow for the individual arts to retain their autonomy in the work and within a playful negotiation to subordinate to a common purpose, that of arriving to a fine artistic synthesis capable of expression.


Zoi Dimitriou

Choreographer and dancer Zoi Dimitriou was born in Athens. She graduated from the Greek State School of Dance, received the Onassis Foundation Scholarship to study at Trisha Brown in New York and in 2005 completed with distinction her MA in European Dance Theatre Practice at Trinity Laban in London. She has performed for numerous companies and collaborated with artists such as Kirstie Simson, Yvonne Rainer, Felix Ruckert, Yael Flexer, Melanie Clarke, Henrietta Hale and Siobhan Davies among others. She is currently based in London where she launched her choreographic career in 2006.

As an independent choreographer she has been commissioned to make Limen (2007) for The Greek National Ballet Company under the directorship of Lyn Seymour, You're too short for that gesture (2007) for Shift Company (the Resident Youth Dance Company at The Place), Panthalassa (2008) for graduating students at London Contemporary Dance School, If I told him (2009) and Common Bodies in a Space of Difference (2011) for graduating students at Trinity Laban, Hatsu Yume (2013) for Focus Company (the Resident Youth Company at Dance Digital), Side Effects (2015) for Transitions Company, and Coordination and Navigation of Heterogeneous Humans Stabilised under a Visual Relative Localization (2016) for graduating students at Trinity Laban.

In the recent years Zoi has been one of the chosen UK based choreographers to participate in various international research projects that challenge artistic practise, foster debate between artists and offer residencies, performance platforms and mentoring workshops. These have been: the 2007 and 2011 Choreodrome season organised by The Place, the 2008 Choreoroam project, a joint research-based project between The Place (Great Britain), Dansateliers (Holland) and Operaestate Festival Veneto (Italy) with residencies and performances in each country and mentoring workshops, the 2009 Europe In Motion project in Bucharest, an international talent development programme for twelve up-and-coming choreographers, initiated between Dance4 (Great Britain), Springdance (Holland) and the Centrul National al Dansului (Romania) and The Big Intensive 2010 organised by Sadler's Wells.

In 2010 Zoi was honoured with the CfC Award (Choreography for Children), a project between Sadler's Wells, Company of Angels and London Contemporary Dance School for Little Creatures (2011), a work commissioned for Lylian Baylis and The Place.

Additionally Zoi is Research Fellow at Trinity Laban in London and teaches internationally at Impulstanz International Dance Festival in Vienna, Sasha Waltz Company, the State School of Dance in Athens (KSOT) among others.