[Review] Dusty Realities by enacttheatre group at Limassol’s Palio Ksydadiko

For its third production, enacttheatre group presents the devised theatre performance Aισθητή η μείωση της σκόνης απο αύριο (The dust will subside perceptibly from tomorrow) at Palio Ksydadiko in Limassol, Cyprus. Devised and performed by group members Marina Makri, Elena Kalliníkou and Dimitris Chimónas, the performance borrows its title from a rather banal phrase used in weather forecasts on Greek-Cypriot television: it’s normal for Cyprus to be covered with dry dust one or two times a year, usually due to winds coming from the Middle East or Africa. This dust is either yellow or orange like a sandstorm, and often subsides after three days or so. The banal phrase loosely translated as “the dust will subside perceptibly from tomorrow” is thus a mundane announcement for something that everyone’s experiencing periodically, knows that it will go away eventually but is still complaining about.

This performance’s storyline is based on the imaginary scenario that one time the dust came to Cyprus but never left; the plot takes place three years after this dust first covered the island, and its protagonists are three people hiding inside a basement without ever going out during that time. As the plot unfolds, we learn that they have developed their own methods of keeping the dust at bay, and they live a secret, yet dustless life. They follow strict routines for keeping their basement clean, and wash each other meticulously. The point here is that they have been living in isolation: whether the dust outside has subsided or not, or whether they’re the last people on Earth, they simply don’t know. The story then focuses on the day when one of the three has to leave the basement and go outside to buy food and water; we then follow this person out in a dust-covered Limassol, where he encounters the still whining locals, and later on, God herself.

The performance transforms existing places in Limassol that we as locals are very familiar with into an imaginary Macondo-like dreamland.

What makes Αισθητή η μείωση της σκόνης απο αύριο so memorable and exciting to watch is its tightly knit physical action and well thought-out storytelling. Mostly leaning on the comedy side with some seriously dark undertones, the performance makes ingenious and efficient use of several devices, which helps keeping the whole action and narrative going whilst bringing out the many layers of meaning it contains. Much of the text was based on actual dialogues recorded on local buses, and which in some cases were used unedited —as such, the play is using actual stories of people complaining about the dust, or their stomach ache, and all those other boring things that people on buses talk about. What is also interesting in the whole performance is how it transforms existing places in Limassol that we as locals are very familiar with into an imaginary Macondo-like dreamland, where this sickening dust is making everyone complain and even God is coming down to join the bitching.

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But what is all this dust then? Is it the global rising darkness of fascism? Is it coming from the bombs dropping on nearby Syria? Is it the dust filling the room as Turkish and Greek Cypriots shake the bones in the closet of the still unresolved Cyprus problem? All these resonated with me as I watched Αισθητή η μείωση της σκόνης απο αύριο, and yet in a very subtle, intimate way. Apathy is perhaps a symptom of trauma, but just as time’s running out for the three protagonists hiding from an admittedly frightening world, we need to ask ourselves: can we afford to wait for the water to run out and keep drinking our own piss forever, out of fear? Theatre can certainly not give an answer to this. But raising these issues and making them shareable is one of the great powers of theatre, if not of art in its widest sense.

Performances of Αισθητή η μείωση της σκόνης απο αύριο continue at Palio Ksydadiko (Genethliou Mitella 34, 3036, Limassol) on 22-23 November, and 10-11 December 2016. For info and reservations please call +357-99629610.

About the performance
Direction: enacttheatregroup
Dramaturgy/Cast: Marina Marki, Elena Kalliníkou, Dimitris Chimónas
Movement: Lia Haraki
Video: Kyros Papavasiliou
Graphic Design: Despina Kannaourou
Production Assistant/Lighting: Evita Ioannou
Music and sound performance: Marianna Michael

The performance is presented as part of the Yard Residency of MITOS. For more information please visit the MITOS Yard Residency official website.

Facebook event link
Enacttheatre group Facebook page

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