Art & Design

Zoi Dimitriou


Dancing around the ‘wants’, ‘mays’ and ‘maybes’ of a society with innumerable choices, internationally prominent choreographer Zoi Dimitriou, who is now a permanent citizen of London, explores the ‘right now’ of onstage narration getting inspiration from Chris Marker and Slavoj Zizek, in her new work ‘You May!’. ΟΖΟΝ met her and discussed about the boundaries of guilt, tolerance, progress and responsibility.

What is ‘‘Υou May!’’?

‘‘You May!’’ is a new play, that explores life in contemporary society, where the old model of ‘you may, because you have to’ has been superseded by ‘you have to, because you may.’ By using motion, audio, text and image, this piece provides the audience with suggestions concerning the possible ‘mays’ which are formed within realms of fantasy, desire and danger.

If your life were a choreography, how would it be?

It would entail a lot of motion, vivid pictures and the opening credits shown after the end.

In an effort to extend the boundaries of on stage narration, which new forms does the play suggest?

This play deals with the ‘right now’ of onstage narration/ presence and the possible probabilities which come up through the dialogue between motion and stillness, speech and image as well as between the agreements being made after the interaction with the audience and the performers.

Tolerance: alibi or guilt for the passing to the dark side of progress?

Guilt for every false choice, which eventually falls out with any kind of progress, is on the schedule, tolerance to the things that people have to do and alibi when denying to take responsibility.

How is danced the ‘‘society of risk’’?

Onstage risk bears closer resemblance to the performer’s investment on the ‘right now’ as well as to the honest co-existence with the unexpected in live performances than to any projection of ‘dangerous’ material.

In which way were you inspired by ‘‘La jetée’’by Chris Marker?

I was highly inspired by ‘‘La jetée’’ by Chris Marker as regards the form he uses, the fact that the whole film is based on photographic frames and also in the way he has combined form with context so that both could actually transfer the audience through time, which is one of the basic themes of the play.

Why this play?

I’m trying to hark as much as possible the way art will come to a dialogue with society and the prevailing trends. Besides, You May! is not only influenced by Chris Marker, but also by the philosopher Slavoj Zizek, who talks about the society of choice, where because of the abundance of choice nowadays, the order now is that you have to be able to rejoice about that since society has seen to it for your sake and because you can.
In other words, any kind of freedom, with which they may have provided us, can also be seen as a well- organised system whose foundations last until the supporters of the system cease to may as well as to desire to may. And then what?

You May! Choreography by Zoi Dimitriou 24 – 27 May 2012 at Onassis Cultural Centre

Interview: Despina Ramantani