Zoi Dimitriou’s dance works are characterised by a pared-down, minimalist style of performance with a devoted attention to detail. She holds a strong commitment to exploring ways through which the body can make manifest and reveal the human condition and preserves the significance of craft as an operational mode for experimentation and the making of works.
Her choreographic research investigates the qualities and conditions of spectatorship and draws from the larger social for the development of compositional activity. She is invested in examining the nature of the image through its various repetitions, re-iterations and re-activations in order to re-distribute and re-member, to re-invest and see anew, as a way of potentially forming new imaginaries. With the focus on intertextuality, she employs techniques that stem from notions of estrangement and defamiliarization.
Methodologies she is developing are concerned with technicalities of attention and technologies of looking; ‘if by creating a suspension via the choreographic and performative, a certain unfamiliar space may open and if accustomed forms of cognition or re-membering can be delayed, then it may well be that in this unfamiliar space, potential may be found for new imaginaries to be formed. And perhaps these spaces where humans are gathering can eventually allow for reclaiming one’s poetic and political gestures’.
In 2006 she launches her choreographic career with the solo work Can You See Me?, where she explores the notion of visual perception and its significance to time-passing. Following her debut, she is commissioned to create Limen (2007) for the Greek National Ballet Company under the directorship of Lyn Seymour, a work carefully crafted for ten dancers on Steve Reich’s Triple Quartet.
In 2007 she is nominated for the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative. In 2008 she becomes the sixth beneficiary of the Robin Howard Foundation’s annual Commission Award and creates the duet Goddesses in Exile and the solo Dromi, where she explores notions of mythology, femininity and identity. In the summer of 2008 she is one of 10 international artists to embark on the research-based project, Choreoroam between The Place (GB), Dansateliers (NL) and Operaestate Festival Veneto (IT), where she not only choreographs bodies but also 60 wooden hula hoops following scores that are inspired from Conlon Nancarrow’s compositional methods. In 2009 she is one of the twelve up-and-coming choreographers of the In Motion project in Bucharest, an international talent development programme initiated between Dance4 (GB), Springdance (NL) and the Centrul National al Dansului (RO). That same year she premieres In the Process of… (short version), which awards her the Bonnie Bird Choreography Award and a consequent commission by The Place for the full-evening version (2010).
In 2010 she is selected for the Big Intensive, an international development programme by Sadler’s Wells for dance artists and choreographers.
In 2011 she is honoured with the Choreography for Children Award (CfC), a project between Sadler's Wells, Company of Angels and London Contemporary Dance School and is commissioned to create Little Creatures. In 2012 she is commissioned by the Onassis Cultural Centre (GR) to create You May!, a work inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 film La Jetee about an impending catastrophe, exploring risk margins through the strict structure of contemporary society and what happens when you splice the personal and the political together.
In 2013 she enters a new phase in her creative practice and thinking, exploring archival content, the use of digital media in performance, interactivity, and a desire to move away from the conventional theatre settings and towards off-site installations. Considering how attention and engagement with cultural work is changing in relation to the instant gratification experienced through technological devices she embarks in developing technologically inspired methodologies for the development of both kinetic content and choreographic principles. In 2014 she creates The Chapter House, with collaborator, co-performer and acknowledged pioneer in the integration of dance and digital media, Mark Coniglio.
In 2016 she is commissioned by the Onassis Cultural Centre to create Peregrinus (2017), an off-site installation for the Fast Forward Festival 4, exploring issues of flight and exile, willing wandering and imposed nomadism. In 2021 she premieres Funky Turn and/or Legally Live in the context of the 14th Arc For Dance Festival (digital edition), exploring how through the use of sampling technologies and digital techniques the smallest gesture can assume a life of its own and become the basis for the birth of new iterations and reverberations.
She studied dance at the State School of Dance in Athens (KSOT), at the Trisha Brown Studios in New York on an Onassis Foundation scholarship, and received a Master’s Degree from TrinityLaban in London graduating with distinction. She is based between Athens and London.
Her works are presented internationally in venues such as: Royal Opera House 2, Arnolfini, Lilyan Baylis, Athens and Epidaurus Festival, The Kalamata International Dance Festival, Onassis Stegi, Fast Forward Festival, BE Festival, Operaestate Festival Veneto, Teatri di Vita, Piccolo Teatro, Europe in Motion Festival (RO), The Place, Cambridge Junction, Aerowaves, One Dance Week Festival (BG), among others.
REVIEWS / PUBLICATIONS
"Dimitriou is using the distance and abstraction of the theatrical presentation to give the audience the opportunity to focus on her references to the current social and political reality. Peregrinus thus reflects on and interferes with our western sense of carefully mediatized detachment from the crisis."
Nicholas Minns, Writing about dance (20-07-2017)
"The Chapter House breathes life into minimalism and digital media. Dimitriou creates a multifaceted and highly detailed work that opens up new avenues in British post-modern dance."
Maya Pindar, The Insanity in Dancing (14-04-2016)
"The Chapter House succeeds in being both a "Greatest hits…" reflection on Dimitriou's extant choreography but delivered in the context of having created something absolutely novel. It is unusual to find complete innovation in dance performance"
Graham Watts, Dance Tabs (06-10-2014)
"Although there was plenty of action on stage it was therefore the intangible processes that gave depth to the piece, from how Coniglio recreated the story to how we responded to it. Dimitriou may have made us work hard, but the results were enlightening."
Alice Robotham, Londondance (03-10-2014)
"Intending to explore what it means to make or remake work for the digital era, The Chapter House is a unique approach to examining an artist’s archive and is particularly relevant for an age consumed by digital and informational technology."
Rebecca Stancliffe, Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, Volume 9 Number 2
"Inspired by La jetée (1962), the avant-garde masterpiece from the French film-maker Chris Marker, the emerging choreographer fearlessly expands her choreographic idiolect to embrace new modes of on-stage narration. ...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."
Rachel Vogel, Cloud Dance Festival (14-06-2012)
"There is humour aplenty, particularly in the spoken elements with some clever plays on words. And while its tongue is in its cheek at times, it's not in a knowing way. Rather this is an uncynical piece, truly questioning the world without imposing any answers."
Phil Lawrence, Broadway Baby Review, June 2012
"You may…' can be said in many ways. You May can be read in many ways. You May is an invitation and a granting of permission, an injunction, an incantation and an invocation. The piece summons spirits, ghost dances and lost towers. It invites us into its own world and it ejects us back into our own through language, movement, objects, sound and light. This is the starting point for a whole series of tests. As an audience we bear witness to these tests and we take part in the experiment. We are both the observers and a 'control' by which the performers can measure their efforts, their ability to entertain us."
Michael Pinchbeck, Preface, May 2012
‘You May!’ strategically opens up an inventory of choices and invites us to share in a judgement (krisis) of existing possibilities inherent in the present. The strategies invented by Zoi and her collaborators invent novel relationships between fall/recovery and meanings which were previously unrelated. And in the present moment (more than ever) we need to become aware of the possible relationships between fall and change, recovery and hope."
Christina Kostoula, You May!: A political reading of ‘If I May’, June 2012
"Zoi Dimitriou looked stunning in a red dress, and her partner Jos Baker possessed huge integrity in making sure everything felt was expressed through the body rather than facially. Zoi had taken Conlon Nancarrow's compositional structures and Annie Hall as inspiration. There's a potential that pieces and performers can appear harshly exposed due to the deliberately limited lighting states allowed for Touch Wood. Yet with Zoi's work, that minimalism became beautiful, from her choice of aesthetic to the 60 wooden hoops that shared the space, as feelings were made visible through set. It's really one to look out for in the future."
Sally Marie, Touch Wood Blog (12-09-2009)
"Embryos still developing and completing the project within Choreoroam, Zoi Dimitriou's work raises a set of questions, themes and components for analysis, which currently permeate the thinking of contemporary art, which may have as a common denominator the concept of limit, declined on different floors: the execution, with the question of how a performance is part of the possibility of error and failure mechanism of rhythmic and choreographic thought, perception, with the unveiling limits of the viewer, and that of time, with a particular management of the fourth dimension."
Sarah Paroletti, The potential error in the work of Zoi Dimitriou (28-08-2008)
"In both works, the connectivity between text, music, lighting and movement had been carefully constructed and the overall pace and imagery of these works confirm that Dimitriou is capable of being in the highest echelon of conceptual dance theatre artists; the threads of her ideas are not always easy to piece together but they knit into a rich and luscious tapestry, which somehow boosts the spirit and illuminates the power of individual freedoms."
Graham Watts, Dromi, Goddesses in Exile, Ballet Magazine, May 2008
"Intellectually clever and beautifully performed… Dimitriou displayed winning charm and humour in the dialogue between herself and ourselves watching her, the simple text of few words elaborated until it became a veritable poem."
Fren Bryant and Peter Grahame Woolf, Can You See Me? Musical Pointers (21-11-2006)
"From all the shows presented at the festival Europe in Motion some of them draw my attention in a special manner, first of all through the potential contained. All these plays have a common denominator: they succeed in creating individualised worlds through a certain red string, through a certain search coherence. 'Can you see me?' stakes on the continuous embellishment of the body, on its transformation into an object that is to be looked at according to the one who looks at it. Zoi Dimitriou has the ability of quickly passing from an instantly improvised high heel to a naked foot, from a live eye to a screen eye."
Mihaela Michailov, Europe Is Moving (II), Art Act Magazine (01-04-2009)
"Technically challenging both conceptually and performatively, Zoi Dimitriou's choreography creates a strong impact with its excellent composition and inventive movement vocabulary."
Mirka Dimitriadi Psaropoulou, Limen, Eleftherotipia Press (08-05-2007)
"From the entire triptych under the title 'American Dream', I will remember for a long time and with great pleasure only one piece 'Limen'. Zoi Dimitriou offered both her audience and the dancers of the Greek National Ballet twenty minutes of mature, well-composed and inspired choreography placed on the excellent score of Steve Reich and interpreted live by the New Hellenic Quartet."
Vena Georgakopoulou, Eleftherotipia Press, May 2007
"Dancing the American Dream Three Greek choreographers create a triple-bill expressing what the term means to them today. Zoi Dimitriou takes an abstract and formalist approach for 'Limen', which uses music by minimalist Stephen Reich. 'The object is to create structures that correspond to what America is today', she says.
The piece is more abstract, minimalist, than symbolic or theatrical. The young choreographer - who made a stunning debut at the Kalamata International Dance Festival, drawing the attention of National Opera Ballet Director Lyn Seymour - studied at the National School of Ballet in Greece and under Trisha Brown in New York. "
Sandra Voulgari, Kathimerini Press, May 2007